Monday, December 31, 2012

When will this man really retire, once and for all? Robert Fisk at his most dumb ever

There is nothing in this article that is not borrowed from Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind. Nothing.  As if language can't be used for precision and for lack of precision.  As if one uses language imprecisely it is the fault of language.  I have seen Robert Fisk being dumb but not as bad as in this trashy piece:
"There can be a kind of imprecision in practical life. I recall arriving with colleagues in southern Lebanon during one of Israel’s five invasions and asking how many Israeli tanks were on the road in front of us. “Many,” came the reply of the refugees. How many? “Ktir” – very many. Ten? “Na’am”. (Yes.) Twenty? “Na’am” (Yes again.) A dangerous lack of clarity there, surely.
Hasan Karmi, the Palestinian lexicographer who died six years ago, nursed the theory that having learned colloquial Arabic as children before progression to the much more precise written form -- and because language is so crucial to the development of thought – “Arabs were often handicapped by a lack of precision in their thinking.” Here I am quoting from Karmi’s obituary by my mate Donald Macintyre. Hence, perhaps, the failure of Arabs to maintain their historical superiority in science and intellectual thought." (thanks Nir)