Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wanderers 2016.10.12

Fall 2016

The Pauling House block and environs were enduring a power outage this morning.  Even the busy intersection twixt Chavez and Hawthorne was without signals.  Drivers and pedestrians had to play the game of round robin.

Our speaker today was Roger Paget, who has appeared previously in my blogs.  He speaks in a Chomsky-like baritone, looking back over a long history of living around the Pacific Rim, including as a translator for Indonesia's Sukarno at one point.

He reminds me of John Taylor quite a bit, another native English speaker who has developed fluency in Indonesian (one of thousands of languages used in that region).

For most of the talk, I attended to his use of the pronoun "we" and possessive "our".  He looks somewhat like a king, the way Santa Claus does, so it was easy to slip into hearing a "royal we" -- a perceptual shift I'm used to making (I focus on pronoun use a lot).

I concluded we were kings of rather different kingdoms in that my use of "we" bears only some resemblance to his.  For the most part, his kingdom sounded rather alien.  We both think of ourselves as US citizens, but differ in the details of what that entails (in terms of how we each use our respective "we").

Nevertheless we may learn from one another, as kings and queens often have.  Better to learn than simply argue.

Elizabeth Furse and Marianne Buchwalter and were among those who joined us.

I didn't participate in the discussion other than to eat some of the donut pieces Marianne brought from Blue Star.  We didn't have coffee thanks to the power outage.