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George Orwell with novel 1984 popularized the idea that by changing the language, you could change the minds. It is easy to forget that we are routinely victims of this strategy. A fascinating example...
Fabián Rodríguez's profile photoJonas Neergaard-Nielsen's profile photoDiana Studer's profile photoDaniel Lemire's profile photo
When manipulation via language blends with high-control religious groups, it gets very interesting.
This is so incredibly important. I hope everyone reads this and realizes what it means.
Interesting observations. I was rather surprised by the fact about French. What other languages were spoken, I wonder?
George Carlin talked about this quite a bit in his stand up. One great example (that I was reminded of by the 'climate change' example) was his take on the words "shell shock" and in general the cleaning up of words like die to passed on. Youtube it as it's really fascinating.
I'll probably regret this, but I have to ask: do you think the same principle applies to replacing "one man and one women" with "two people" in the legal definition of marriage?
+Caleb Callaway Absolutely. I think gay couples should have the same rights as straight couples, especially with respect to benefits. They should be allowed to adopt kids, and everything else. They should be allowed to sign contractual agreements to protect their mutual interests. But what the gay activists are doing is perverting the notion of marriage. This is just an instance of political correctness. I guess there might be a strategic issue whereas they want to force legal recognition, but I don't approve.
+Jonas Neergaard-Nielsen It is not unique to French. Italian is similar. People spoke all sorts of languages. If you go in France outside the main cities, many of these minor languages are still spoken.
Are they romanic languages as well, close to French, or are they completely different a la Basque? And do even young people speak them as their mother tongue?
cross the border to Switzerland and you have 4 official languages (not counting English). But every Swiss you speak to is at home in one or more dialects. What is much stranger is that countries so widely separated by geography - speak English!
Yes, Switzerland is a bit funny, but only a special case in Europe. Many African countries have several official languages, and India has tens, hundreds or thousands of languages, depending on the way of counting:

I was rather surprised that France has many small languages, though - I knew that there are some Basque speakers and perhaps some native speakers of the neighbouring countries' languages in the border regions - but nothing apart from that.
This is extra surprising, from the Wikipedia article: "At the time of the French revolution in 1789 it is estimated that only half of the population of France spoke French, and by 1871 only a quarter spoke French."

Anyway, this discussion of mother tongues was not your main point, so maybe I'll leave it here - it's bedtime anyway :)
And in Montreal you have another French language or dialects? Quebecois?
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