Quit Using Our Words

Often I hear a drooling political prostitute use the vernacular of science for moron-baiting purposes. Among the techno-babble words recently acquired by the anti-intelligentsia is “optics.”

The book on optics (Opticks, as he wrote it) was written by Newton himself. Optics is the science of light. “The way morons will see it, if properly guided by my propaganda” is not functionally equivalent. Is it that the words “perception” and “appearance” have too many syllables? Optics is a fairly narrow area of study. I mean that it is very specific, though many would argue that its vast and growing set of applications shouldn’t be called narrow. Screw those guys. Within the field, the word “optics,” when not applied to the field itself, generally refers to items such as filters, lenses, and mirrors. In what way is this similar to “appearance?”

But I guess it sounds educated to the sorts of people that prefer the airheads who deliver their daily dose of bovine excreta to sound smart.

It beats having to listen to actual smart people who will almost certainly disagree with their preferred delusions, I suppose.

Languages

I have been a bit of an amateur linguist since high school. Recently, I decided to look into which languages were the most spoken. I made a post on that, based on minimal intertube research. Now that I have a new table plugin (courtesy of Tobias Bäthge), I decided to take another stab at it. This time, I spent a couple of hours on Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. I included countries whose contributions were over 10,000,000 speakers. For some languages, however, this wasn’t enough. So I also included either the first two countries or the first three if the third was a significant contributor).

LanguageCountrySpeakers
Chinese - MandarinAll Countries1100000000
China940000000
Taiwan23071779
Singapore1659258
EnglishAll Countries900000000
United States267444149
India125226449
Philippines89800000
Nigeria79000000
United Kingdom59600000
Germany46272504
Canada25246220
France23000000
Pakistan18000000
Australia17357833
Italy17000000
The Netherlands14000000
South Africa13673203
Spain12500000
Turkey12000000
Poland11000000
China10000000
HindiAll Countries510000000
India487560891
Pakistan14987418
SpanishAll Countries450000000
Mexico110651490
United States50000000
Spain46624207
Colombia45931584
Argentina40655093
Venezuela29133156
Peru26097668
Chile17280812
Ecuador14034186
Guatemala12712691
Cuba11168448
Dominican Rebublic10184100
ArabicAll Countries350000000
Egypt80117000
Sudan43939598
Algeria34895000
Morocco31649000
Iraq30747000
Saudi Arabia25721000
Yemen23580000
Syria21906000
Tunisia10327800
RussianAll Countries280000000
Russia138739892
Kazakhstan14746254
Ukraine10832330
Belarus6014703
BengaliAll Countries260000000
Bangladesh155399124
India96323005
PortugueseAll Countries240000000
Brazil190755799
Mozambique20366795
Angola15116000
Portugal10555853
FrenchAll Countries180000000
France60578600
Democratic Republic of the Congo24320000
Algeria21000000
Cote d'Ivoire12740000
Morocco10131001
Canada9590700
GermanAll Countries128000000
Germany81471834
Austria7280510
Switzerland4965975
Tai-KadaiAll Countries84000000
Thailand66720153
Laos6477211

.

Unfortunately, the “All Countries” number is only a rough estimate. Someday I may be induced to do an actual study. For now, however, I think this is adequate for informational purposes.