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RE: Emacs learning curve

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs learning curve
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 11:50:38 -0700

> > It was pointed out that Emacs, like Spanish, has a reason 
> > to exist even if it is not the most widespread language
> Well, according to most sources Spanish is the second language
> worldwide in number of native speakers (after mandarin).

For "native" speakers, depending on what is meant by that, in one estimation
(second link below) you are correct: Spanish is second.  English is a close
third.  Mandarin is bigger than Spanish and English combined.

In a different estimation (first link below), however, Hindi/Urdu is second in
native speakers (Spanish 3rd, English 4th).

English is #2 in total speakers (50% more than Spanish).



The first link also shows native speakers, and that estimation puts Hindi/Urdu
ahead of Spanish.  That underlines the fact that no one knows - these are only

Interestingly (surprising to me, at least), there are more secondary speakers of
French than of English (and Spanish is #5 in secondary speakers).

> > and it uses vocabulary and pronunciation that
> > foreigners (who are admittedly more numerous than Emacs 
> > speakers) can sometimes find disconcerting.
> Foreigners are disconcerted by the weirdest things... Spanish
> pronunciation is simpler (far fewer phonemes) and much more regular
> (systematic spelling) than English'.

Almost anything is simpler and much more regular than English.
Even Emacs.

Korean has an incredibly sensible and accurate alphabet.  Anyone can read Korean
out loud after a few minutes studying the alphabet (but of course without
necessarily having a clue what they are pronouncing).  And that alphabet was
designed once and for all back in the 1500s, if I'm not mistaken.  A good
example of the value of careful study and good design.

BTW, I heard on the radio the other day that they ("They" (TM)) have logged the
one-millionth word in English.  It was "Web 2.0", IIRC.  "Defriend" was also a
recent one.  By contrast, French was clocked at about 250,000 words.

Like sluts everywhere, English is not picky about what it picks up.  French is
picky (or it would like to be).  In English you can verb any noun.  And the
multitude of secondary English speakers represent a wealth of language
invention.  We say that English has "borrowed" here and there, but it's not
really borrowing. ;-)

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