Language, said Mulla Nasruddin, was devised to describe actions as well as thoughts.
That means that all you have to do is to get the words right, and everything will be understood..
But Mulla, said a friend, surely that cannot apply to everything?
Yes, it should.
Then can you describe to me how the silk industry is carried out?
Certainly. The first part is to get the worms and untwist that which is twisted. The second part is to get rid of the worms and retwist that which has been untwisted.
I have always loved the tales of the Milla Nasruddin, the wise fool of middle eastern story telling (and wider). I recently blogged my all time favorite in the context of a set of knowledge management quotes. Earlier today I used the above to illustrate why computer search engines, entity extraction modules and the like, while always useful will never equal human intelligence . Unless that is we either (i) meet them half way (excessive process engineering can easily achieve that) or (ii) loose our ability to communicate humour, paradox and a deep appreciation of context. Not to mention irony, sarcasm, metaphor and paradox. Now add facial expression, social context, references to literature and history and you start to see the rich complexity of language.
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This is simply the most witty, erudite and brilliant reworking of my children's party story ...