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English 101

I got stopped on the street today for a grammar question. He wondered which preposition he should use in a certain sentence. I’ve had to think more about English grammar since I got here than I had in the decades before. Some of them have been pretty technical. With those, I just closed my eyes and told them what was the correct option. I couldn’t tell them why, but I knew that it was indeed the correct way of doing things. Of course I am now learning new grammar, and it’s making my head spin. Maybe that German philosopher (what was his name? Witgenstein?) was right, maybe we really do organize our thoughts by the language that we use. It would certainly explain why it is so much more difficult to learn new languages as we grow older. In his view, language isn’t just how we talk, it’s how we think. I’ve been thinking the same way too long:-)

Isaac

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