yes no black white

do you remember the game?

as kids we played this. you are supposed to have a conversation without using these words.

ken lo shacur lavan

well, in america, you can’t play this game. why? becuase no one uses these words.

language is a reflection of culture.

noam chomsky made a career as a self-declared adherent of libertarian socialism which he regards as “the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society.”

ever since i have heard him in 1985 in George Washington University, my view on government was not the same.

But his earlier rise to claim was as a linguist. In the 1950s, Chomsky began developing his theory of generative grammar, which has had a profound influence on linguistics. He established the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power. His 1959 review of B. F. Skinner‘s Verbal Behavior challenged the behaviorist approaches to studies of behavior and language dominant at the time and contributed to the cognitive revolution in psychology. His naturalistic[9] approach to the study of language has affected the philosophy of language and mind.

to summarize, as a political dissident he claims society needs to be without hierarchies. as a linguist he claimed that your mind is different dependent on what languages you master. especially at early ages.


so why can you not play ‘yes no black white’ in america, even a few weeks before a black person is to become a president? because these words are not politically correct:


black is afro-american. can not use ‘black’


white is caucasian. funny how that is how the white race decided to call itself. what are your thoughts of the caucasian region. mine is of great carpets. most people i know think of georgian people. stalin was georigan. Stalin, born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was georgian. so, can not use the word ‘white’ even though caucasian is a poor choice. by the way, caucasian is a nick name for the drink ‘white russian’.


saying yes seems not fine. use ‘affirmative’, or ‘i believe so’. could sound more sophisticated and perhaps less opinionated. so the ‘yes’ parochial word is not used. i have heard people say about me that i am opinionated and blunt. these are not good qualities in the US or elsewhere. better focus on being likeable, but that is a topic for another blog


surely, you must be jesting: son of a friend moved to the US while in first or second grade. As spring approached and after several months in the US he came back home one day with a claim. ‘i now how they say “no” in america’.

think of it, for months he has not received negative feedback. did not know how to say ‘no’. could you float through life trying to fish for a negative feedback and not getting one? luckily, that day he played basketball and his shot hit the rim and missed. ‘i know how they say “no”, they say “nice try”‘


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4 Responses to “yes no black white”

  1. Ran Arad Says:

    I remember we talked about this when we were eating together at Peeps. The part about Americans not using the word “no” doesn’t cease to surprise me.

  2. adisababa Says:

    america still rules the world! NO?

  3. Chen Says:

    I am not sure that you go through life without getting a negative feedback (notice the American style for providing a feedback … :-)).
    They just deliver it in a different way.
    Nice try == YOU SUCK! in Hebrish.

    I actually think that the higher “energy” we use in our language is a reflection of the rest of the more aggressive culture.

    america still rules the world! “they are in an excellent position to improve …”

  4. adisababa Says:

    i agree that it is finesse, and we need to learn more from it.

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