Friday, February 29, 2008

People Write Right to Left? WTF? This Is America, Damn It!!!

Just goes to show you, we're NOT the only ones here...I wonder if this is why our behaviors are different. Not to suggest "they're" backwards (maybe we are) -- but language is so embedded within us that it cannot help that we write differently. Does this difference suggest a different brain mapping? Hmmm.

Official Google Blog: Searching right to left

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe the answer is no, people's thinking is not really affected much by the semantics of their language. Steven Pinker talks about that question in "The Language Instinct". Good book.

Danshil said...

Wow, that's marginally offensive.

I seriously doubt you've ever noticed this. But in English, we don't always write left-to-right. We also use top to bottom:

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/LPIPOD/BN14726_22~Chicago-Theatre-Facade-and-Illuminated-Sign-Chicago-United-States-of-America-Posters.jpg

Not a very standard way of writing, but still perfectly acceptable. In some Asiatic languages entire books are written with vertical text.

While many writing systems have one preferred writing direction, they usually have multiple non-preferred directions. If anything, a person that can read text left-right, right-left and up-down should have a much more fluid language ability than a person that can read/write "only" in the left-right direction.

billspaced said...

Hey, everybody, I was being silly. I wanted to see if that headline got any attention and it did. So there.

Anonymous said...

Some asian languages, like Japanese can be top to bottom, right to left. Interestingly, before WWII, When Japanese didn't write top to bottom and right to left, they wrote right to left and top to bottom, but was changed to left to right, top to bottom. I wonder if there are any bottom to top languages?