Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cultural Lag

In a college course that I went through, at some point they were comparing and contrasting the ancient civilizations and they made a point to single out the inefficiencies of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and (I paraphrase lightly) how idiotic and backward they were as they'd write their inefficient symbol (which was bad enough) and then right next to they would write the phonetic version as well.

My thought was "those silly, backward Egyptians, they just couldn't get on the Greek bandwagon...
hmm, but the Japanese still do that."

Proof is all over, but so prominent is the use of both the phonetic and kana at the same time that the welcome screen for Microsoft's web server (with Windows 7/Server 2008) actually has them both as well:

Japanese get welcomed twice

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