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About cmarshall

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  1. Do you find that the relative poverty of English with respect to pronouns and the resulting inability subtlely to shade the discourse with respect to the relative class, power, wealth, responsibility, familiarity, and closeness of the speakers hobbles what English speakers can express? So, for instance, in Thai I can put you down in a very rude way just by using the pronoun กู as "I" to refer to myself, no matter how polite the rest of the sentence is. Or, is it possible that English is admirably suited to the objectives of English-speaker, while Thai is uniquely well-constructed for the somewhat different needs of Thai-speakers?
  2. If Johnson refuses to sign the letter asking the EU for an extension on Oct 19, the Scottish High Court of Session has an as yet undisclosed remedy, which is probably that they will sign the letter for him exercising their obscure power of nobile officium. Johnson's current ploy is to trot out an "agreement" that avoids a hard border in Ireland, in favor of one in the Irish Sea. Mysteriously, the DUP and ERG appear ready to approve it, despite their former intense opposition to just these provisions, but it is a trap. If Parliament were to approve that "plan," the Benn Act would become a dead letter getting Johnson off the hook, but the UK would still not exit from the EU until Parliament passed the additional legislation required by the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. However, Johnson can conceivably prevent that from happening by proroguing Parliament again for the ten days or whatever until the deadline of Oct. 31 has safely passed, at which point, presumably the UK would out without a deal. However, Parliament has several ways to prevent that, the most effective of which would be a vote of no confidence. That doesn't look likely at the moment, because the Remain parties cannot agree on a caretaker PM, but the real negotiations on that issue do not begin until the eleventh hour at which point someone is likely to buckle, whether Swinson, Corbyn, or whoever. The current Tory political campaign carried on under the guise of an "information" campaign to prepare the publc for an exit on Oct. 21 is just an attempt to steamroll the public and maybe the less astute among the MPs. Not likely to work.
  3. Well, yes, it would be shocking if true, but it isn't true. Other estimates of English words reach 500,000. My own Anki deck of Thai vocabulary flashcards that I have personally encountered is over 14,000.
  4. Virtually every point you make is wrong. Where did you get the idea that you know enough Thai to have an opinion about it? I am sorry, but you don't know enough to make having a conversation with you worth the trouble. Best of luck with the rest of your life.
  5. Brexit is not going to happen. Certainly not, at any rate, with no deal on Oct. 31. Either the Scottish High Court of Session or Parliament will stop Johnson. There will be both a general election and a referendum, not necessarily in that order. Johnson is finished. So, the pound will be on the way up going forward.
  6. In some species of venomous snake immature specimens are more deadly than adults, because they inject more copious amounts of venom when they bite. Don't know if it's true of cobras, but it is apparently true of the fer-de-lance of Central America.
  7. Thai does not mark syllable boundaries any more than it marks word boundaries. "To mark" means to represent graphically, i.e. explicitly, with a "mark." There are no marks indicating syllable boundaries. It's true that the reader can figure out where the syllable boundaries are implicitly, but figuring something out by learning and applying the Thai spelling rules is not the same as having it indicated graphically, in the way that Japanese marks syllable boundaries by spaces, i.e. with a "mark." Your persist in your Whig advocacy by assuming that any changes in a writing system arise or persist, because of some evolutionary advantage particular to the writing system itself, rather than, say, from random changes in fashion or adoption of some language or writing practice to indicate membership in a favored class or group. So, for instance, Urdu speakers didn't decide to write Hindi with Arabic, rather than Devanagari, script, because of some inherent efficiency in the writing style, but to demonstrate membership in the Moghul ruling class.
  8. Sorry, I assumed the benefit of a one-time bonus of $170 was too insignificant to be worth discussing.
  9. The introduction of spacing would imply an improvement under the assumption that change equals improvement. But why would one think that? Are either shorter or longer skirts on women an improvement? How about the introduction or disappearance of horsehair wigs on men? One needs to be wary of succumbing to the Whig interpretation of history as inherently progressive. I don't know enough of the history of writing to know what the medievals thought they were doing when they adopted changes in writing. Did they believe they were increasing legibility or efficiency in reading? Or was it just a series of fads? We know that the largest economy in the world, China, and the third largest, Japan, have writing systems that impose significant additional educational burdens by comparison with alphabetic writing systems. Nevertheless, both countries have higher literacy rates than the US. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-highest-literacy-rates-in-the-world.html I don't know what you mean by claiming that Thai already has word boundaries. That's not the case. Words have a beginning and an end, of course, but these are not indicated graphically.
  10. So, all the provincials here believe that Thai word spacing is inherently inferior to the word spacing they have grown up with? As far as I know, no East Asian languages have word spacing. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Burmese either have no word spacing in the Thai manner or have spaces around every character (not word) which is the same thing. Doesn't seem to bother them. I can tell you from experience the more you read Thai, the easier it gets, however slowly. Classical Greek and Latin did not have word spacing, which only appeared, along with punctuation and capitalization, during the Middle Ages. People managed. I think it would be impossible to construct a test that would control for other variables and isolate the effect on reading efficiency of just word spacing.
  11. Right. One time teaser of $170, not $200. Do I have to explain to you what happens in the future?
  12. Why on earth bother? Since moving to Thailand, I have been able to get both a Capital One cc with 1.5% cashback, and a State Department Federal Credit Union card with 2% cashback. No foreign transaction fee on either. The SDFCU card hasn't arrived yet, but I have been using the CapOne card regularly for some years now without any problems. I still have an Amex card, but I would never use it outside the US.
  13. Can someone post the url for the TM30 website? I cannot get the Section38 app to register. TIA.
  14. Some members of my wife's family are in need of extensive dental treatment. We priced out various treatment plans at the private clinic where we have our regular dental care, but it was very expensive. So, we went to Mahidol University School of Dentistry which maintains a clinic open to the public. I was very impressed. The system is well-organized and efficient. It took about two hours to get them registered, reviewed for medical problems, and then forwarded upstairs to a dentist who would perform essentially a triage function resulting in a referral to a specialist who will develop a treatment plan. The visit to the triage dentist was a trip. We went up to the second floor into a warren of cubicles each one of which had a dentist, a dental assistant, and a patient stretched out receiving treatment. There must have been twenty such cubicles in this area. Our dentist was an older lady who was working away very efficiently without wasting any motion, but who was quite cheerful and friendly. She seem intrigued with me, understandably so since mine was the only white face in the place. She asked me where I was from, how old I am, etc., etc., even though I was not the patient. She explained that she teaches at the School of Dentistry all week and is available in the clinic only on Mondays, but invited us to contact her if we had any questions on the case in the future. There were two options for treatment. The first option is treatment by a dental student, presumably under the supervision of a licensed dentist. The wait for that treatment would "in years." The second option is treatment by a faculty member at a somewhat higher cost, which is what we chose. As it turns out even under this option there is a waiting list for appointments. We scheduled the appointment with the specialist for one family member in January and in February for the other. It may be that the schedule for actual treatment once we decide on a treatment plan will involve further delays. So, this option would not work for tourists in Thailand only for a short time. And the price is right. Total cost for today's consultation was 250 baht per patient. All in all, I found it impressive that the University is at least partly setup to provide low-cost, high quality treatment for Thai people on a large scale. My wife remarked that many of the waiting clientele looked like they had come in from the provinces for care. To me this is what medical care should be: accessible, cheap, tidy, if not luxurious, and high-quality. If I needed major treatment I would go there in a minute. The US could learn a lot from Thailand.
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