Proper size and secret tongue

A bit of Dara Impossible-Irish-Name for you, for starters. He speaks of a problem that I share.

You ask me, everyone under 180 cm is a dwarf. (You ask any reasonable person, you get a different definition. But the fun in being a mathematician is that you can define things any which way you want, and see what happens.)

Also, in other news, back in the university-town and going back to the good ol’ salt mines of the math dept on Monday.

Also seeing some exchange students running around; and for some reason it is always very, very creepy to hear them speak Finnish.

Not because they do it badly, but… well, Finnish is a language of five million speakers, almost all plonk dub here in this one northern country. The Finnish language isn’t of much use in learning anything else — if you know Swedish you can just put a potato in your mouth and you’re speaking Danish. (A cod, Norwegian. Snowball, Icelandic, I think.) Learning Finnish has few advantages save Windtalking and building up resistance to other psychosis-inducing activities, because, as you surely know, Finns don’t talk.

Finnish is, to be briefer, the secret language — the one in which you can scream out loud no matter where you are, and no-one will understand. (Save that elderly disapproving couple from Kouvola — Finns keep running into their own.)

So when a pretty Italian girl smiles and says she’s been studying Finnish for two years already, in Italy… my worldview wobbles and terror is felt.

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