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Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land

by Robert A. Heinlein

Language and Communication Quotes

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Quote #10

Nevertheless Eskimos were invariably described as the happiest people on Earth. Any unhappiness they suffered was not through jealousy; they didn't have a word for it (33.94).

Here, Jubal proposes linguistic determinism just like Mahmoud did earlier. But consider this: when they first learned the word jealousy, did Eskimos start having the emotion right then and there? Or did they recognize it as an emotion they'd felt all along but just lacked a way to describe it? Hmm, we wonder…?

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