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Thursday, July 14, 2005 

It's All Earthlan To Me

While grocery shopping a few days ago, I was comparison-shopping between different products. This task was made a lot more difficult because of the packaging. Not the design of it but the fact that each package had a minimum of 6 languages and because there were so many languages, the type was reduced to such a size that rendered reading the information impossible. Try figuring out which type of toothpaste to buy once you've decided on ultra-white and cavity-reducing over tartar-reducing and herbal mint flavour. Once you reach this stage, then you must figure out what other brands of toothpaste offer the same selling points for theirs. To do this, you must wade through the French, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Hungarian languages to find at least Greek or English so you know exactly which one is herbal mint and not baking soda. That's one of the easier examples. Try reading instructions once they're printed in 6-8 languages. I'm going blind not to mention insane.

Now, since the EU has expanded to include 25 member countries with an additional 10 languages, I will probably give up all together trying to figure out what is what and just buy the box with the nicest design and let the chips fall where they may.

We need to simplify this packinging and signage Tower of Babel. I think it's about time linguists invented a new language...Earthlan. This new language would be taught to all children once they enroll in school. Within 25 years, it's entirely possible that every product around the globe, not to mention signage in other countries, would only have 2 languages...the local language and Earthlan. This would also reduce the size of packaging needed to print ingredients, instructions and manufacturer's addresses. A watch battery would no longer need to be encased in a piece of plastic 25 times the size of the battery just to fit in all that information. Environmentalists would love it. Because it's a language created from scratch, any country couldn't use the excuse that it's a hegemonist action by another country. For all the naysayers who will tell me that it would be impossible to invent a language with phonetics common to all languages, I would say that it wouldn't matter because when you teach a new language to children at such a young age, they'll have no problem adopting any new phonetics. I've seen it already in many children who already speak 2 other languages dissimilar to their native tongue. My own son has done it.

While we're on the subject of simplification. It's about time we eliminated time zones. With global communication becoming easier by the second through technological advances, it's a complete waste of time to figure out what time a podcast will be online in your time zone. AST, CMT, NFT, EXT, GMT +/-4 will all be things of the past and instead they can be listed as a straightforward, 24-hour time stamp. ie., "Live 8 global broadcast-1900h." or Set up a conference call between Tokyo, Rome and Caracas at 15ooh." It doesn't matter anymore if it's night or day in another country...once you get used to doing business with people in different countries, you know if your time request is night or working hours for them. Even if you don't know Australia is 6 hours ahead of your time zone, you'll soon figure it out after 3 phone calls at 2pm and no one is in the office. Stock traders have become accustomed to adjusting to doing business in several global cities. I believe everyone can. No more Daylight Savings Time either. Humans are entirely capable of giving themselves longer days or shorter days as need be without having to change their clocks twice a year. Even maps would look better without all those unneccessary lines drawn all over them.

Hi witchy Great blog (Y)

Witchy we have a universal language already! its called english and if the foreigners moved their butts and learnt it none of this confusion need arise.


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