Friday, September 24, 2010

On Misnomers

A friend of mine is dating a Middle Eastern guy. I'm not sure which country because it has frankly been a while since I learned this. I think he's Palestinian.

This is of absolutely no importance except when conjoined with the following fact: He is also deaf.

Apparently he and my friend communicate through sign language, but I was a tad confused. My friend does not speak American Sign Language (ASL). That's okay, though, because neither does her boyfriend.

She's picked up a bit of Arabic sign language and that's how they communicate, which is great because apparently this guy does not speak any language my friend would have learned in her Arabic studies classes, nor English, nor does he write or read any English.

I was then surprised to learn he cannot use even basic numbers here.

Wait. Hold up. They're called Arabic numerals. How are you going to tell me that and Arab guy can't use Arabic numerals. What the hell, Universe?

Well it turns out we just call them "Arabic" because they're descended from Hindu-Arabic. In fact, neither Hindus nor Arabs really use them anymore. They use Hindi or East Arabic. I'm calling bullshit.

We speak English not in England, using a Germanically-bastardized Roman alphabet and Arabic numbers which Arabs do not use.

Fuck this shit, I'm learning Portuguese.

1 comment :

  1. I'll have to refer my friends over here, seems like a fun place.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.