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Comment: To Dr. SAS & IDRIS PACAS: Grammar

Author:
francis kwarteng
Date:
2014-07-02 19:44:32
Comment to:
Some Corrections For You, Idris


Dear Brothers (Dr. SAS/Idris Pacs),

I hope you two are doing just fine. I have taken note of your corrections, Dr. SAS, as well as of Idris' humble acknowledgement of them.

However, I do want to stress here that there are more complicated, sophisticated "rules" in science than are emotely imaginable in language, with my emphasis being on English.

Thus, I do not particularly see English rules as forbiddingly challenging, Idris Pacas and Dr. SAS, though I am not an expert of "English rules." I have acquired my little knowledge of "English rules" largely on my own--by buying the right books and studying them on my own. In fact I have not done English beyond what we all studied at O'Level.

Interestingly, I can say on authority that "English rules" are relatively easy compared to science rules. For instance, the level of analytic sophistication and complications we can assocaite with English rules can't stand those in Physics alone.

The argument gets murkier, even more complicated and confusing, Idris Pacas and Dr. SAS, when we extend the debate to biology, earth science (geoscience), astrophysics, chemistry, engineering (appied science), computer science, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, biomathamtics, computational linguistics, computer science, pharmacology, genomics, cosmology, biochemistry, etc.

Moreover, the difficulty level and sophistication of English grammer rules pale when we also move the discussion to the mathematical sciences, relatively speaking.

In fact, perhaps those whose academic and research work have exterted the greatest influence on language evolution have been scientists, not necessarily literary scholars. Let us here mention two--Noam Chomsky, Cheikh Anta Diop.

The work of Dr. Noam Chomsky, for instance, has dominated human language evolution in the latter half of the 20th cenutury and even into the 21st century. The scientic work of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop on the evolution of human language has forced the world, particulary the West, to take another close look at ancient and classical civilizations.

In other words, some of those thinkers who have made the greatest impacted on our understanding of human language, including English, are scientists, mathematicians, computational (or mathemtical) linguists, and the like.

And a good number counted among the best as far as English prose goes have been scientists. Again, let me just mention here a few scientists whose major contributions have contribued to the advancement of English prose as well as made the latter popular:

1) Dr. Michael Crichton (medical doctor; author of "Jurasic Park," "Sphere," "The Andromeda Strain," and producer of ER; film director and screenwriter);

2)Issac Asimov (biochistry professor). Asimov is one of the most prolific writers in human history.

3) Ted Chiang (computer scietist; tecnical writer in ine th sofware industry)

4) Dr. Lewis Thomas (physician, poet, essayist, educator, etymologist, etc; National Book Awards in 2 categories (The Sciences--Arts and Letters)

5)Wyman W. Guin (harmacologist)

6) Muhammed Zafar Iqbal (engineer and computer scientsis; Head of Department (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Eletrical and Electronics Engineering)

7) Larry Niven (mathematician, psychologist)

8) Dr. Rudolf Rucker (computer scientist, mathematician, philosopher)

9) John Vance (mining engineer, physicist)

There are more. Let's hope this short list suffices. What is the point of it all? That scientists and mathematicians are able to make easy transitions to the conpetitive world of English prose writing and make their impact felt all over the world.

And here is the shocker: It is not so easy for language majors to make smooth transitions to the sciences. It happens, Dr. SAS and Idris Pacas, but it is not a pedestrian or common experience.

Then again, I challenge English majors to pick up any of Drs. Kofi Kissi Dompere's, David Hilbert's, Erwin Scrodinger's, Noam Chomsky's, John von Newmann's, Francis Allotey's, Albert Einstein's, Cheikh Anta Diop's, etc., scientific papers and then explain the concepts they employed to Ghanaweb readers.

Particularly, those world-class English-French scholars who translated Diop's scientific works from French apparently did not do a good job, even complaining of Diop's linguistic dexterity with the French language, not to talk of his deployement of advanced scientific and mathematical reasoning.

I also challenge English majors on Ghanaweb to pick up any of Noam Chomsky's books "Syntactic Structures," "Cartesian Linguitsics: A Chapter in the History of Linguistic Thought," "Topics in the Thoery of Generative Grammar," and "Aspects of the Theory or Syntax, or of Francis Allotey's work on "Soft X-Ray" or "Allotey Formalism," and, as it were, explain the scientific and mathematical rules they employ in therein.

This is what I am saying in effect, that English rules are "nothing" compared to what we see in the mathematical sciences, in the applied sciences, and even in the social science.

Therefore let us not overrate or exaggerate English rules.I emphatically repeat: English rules are relatively easier to explore.

Perhaps, Dr. SAS Aand Idris Pacas, we may have to debate English majors or those with English backrounds on Ghanaweb with reagrd to on the rules used in the mathematical sciences, the applied scinces, and the social sciences (econometrics, etc).

That hour is fast approaching! All errors are mine.

Thanks.

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07-02 07:01
 
 
 
 
To Dr. SAS & IDRIS PACAS: Grammar
francis kwarteng
07-02 19:44