The Most Important Sentence

I have always loved language and languages. “He who does not know another language does not know his own,” said Goethe, and it is so true. Nothing else expands our minds the same way.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis claims in fact that the language we use to speak (and think) actually affects the way we perceive the world – and of course it does. Language, in whatever form, is the building blocks of thought. Logos…

I have a niece who was born with a rare disorder that resulted in extreme learning and speaking disabilities. They finally taught her sign language. What they found out was that trapped beneath it all was a sense of humor. And how could a soul that chose this path not have one?

Here though is what I actually wanted to tell you, I learned earlier today the single most important sentence to know in any language. It’s not, “Where is the bathroom?” It’s not even “Thank you.” The single most important phrase to learn in any language is, “Two beers please, my friend will pay.”


Notes from the Journal – originally posted to spacebook on 2020.01.16


Related: How language shapes the way we think – Veritas

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