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At 17:37 05/02/2005, Mike Weatherley wrote:

>Ah, but you do realise what I was saying, I hope?
>I meant that (in reference to the large vocabulary
>of modern English - borrowed from so many other
>languages over the centuries) the ability to express
>some forms of humour 'internally' (between two
>English speakers) is more than it would be for two
>speakers of a language with a smaller vocabulary
>(consisting of fewer synonyms, for example).

There is an amusing item on humour in mathematics in Nature News this week,
which may be evidence of something similar:
http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050131/full/050131-18.html

Trevor


Trevor Ogden
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
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