16 Apr 2002 chalst   » (Master)

Israel, Palestine: This article at the Economist makes an interesting argument. It claims that since moderate attempts at restoring peace are bound to fail, due firstly to the gulf that exists between most Palestianians and Israelis and secondly due to the impossibility of a ceasefire with no prospect of a settlement acceptable to both parties, the only hope for a peaceful settlement lies in a more ambitious plan that America attempts to impose on both parties.

duncanm: The argument only works for spoken languages; the goodness of the written form of languages varies. English has an unusally bad written form, where learning the spelling of words has to be done by rote, with no masterable system behind it. By contrast German is excellent, learning the system relating the written form of the language to its pronunciation is a relatively simple thing. The cost of English's poor written form is measured in the lagging behind of English native speakers in international leagues, high rates of semi-literacy amongst adults in countries with universal education systems, etc. Congrats on the North Eastern post, btw...

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