Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More on serendhomophones and serendreduplication

So I am coining two new sets of terms in the field of linguistics. The first set is 'serendhomophony'/'serendhomophones' and the second one is 'serendreduplicates'/'serendreduplication'. Perhaps, people have been implicitly aware that this stuff was out there. But bringing something to explicit awareness by codifying it in academic language counts. And I don't think anyone has actually described it in the mathematical language of chance and probability. So here is a very simple but very precise description of these two terms.

First, 'serendhomophone'/'pseudohomophone'. A 'serendhomophone'/'pseudohomophone' is defined as follows. Sometimes, you may have a set of words/phrases in language A that are homophones with words/phrases in language B. This homophony is usually quite apparent for speakers of language B who don't know language A. These word/phrase pairs are called 'serendhomophones'.

Why does this happen? Pure chance. Every sound in language B maps to some sound in language A. So when words in language A are read out in close succession as in speech or song, the words in language A map to some arbitrary words in language B. (This mapping is not fixed. Based on intonation et cetera, the mapping can even change.) So essentially, words and phrases X1, X2 and X3 in language A that happen to map to words and phrases Y1, Y2 and Y3 in language B when they are spoken in a particular way and in a particular sequence. Note that there is a lot of serendipity in terms of what the particular word Y1 will end up meaning in language B. (Sounds have a more or less arbitrary assignment to meaning, generally speaking.) Note also that languages often don't have the same set of sounds, and so the correspondence between pseudohomophones may not really be very exact and often is not.

Here is a 'misheard lyrics' version of the Tamil song "Kalluri vaanil kaayndha nilaavo?" (now often referred to as "Benny Lava") featuring the Tamil dancer Prabhu Deva.

Note that Buffalax does not use actual pseudohomophones, but a subset of the sounds in the 'misheard lyrics' version of the song are pseudohomophones.

The first few pseudohomophones for the words in the song would be the ones below.

'Kalluri' <=> 'Cull lure E'
'vaanil' <=> 'Vaughn nil'
'kaayndha nilaavo' <=> 'coin the nil ah woe''

Now, for 'serendreduplicates'/'pseudoreduplicates'. 'Pseudoreduplicates' are words/stems of different origins that are thrown together to form 'duplication' within a word. (These words are also called 'serendreduplicates' in my terminology). 'Pseudoreduplication' is the phenomenon wherein a word looks like a reduplicate in that there is some apparent duplication within the word but the word is, in fact, not a reduplicate, and the reduplication has, in fact, arisen by chance.

In a nutshell, 'serendreduplicate'/'pseudoreduplicate' words have some 'duplication' in them that has arisen by sheer luck. It is worth emphasizing this point. Why does reduplication arise? Well, by pure chance. Or, you could call it serendipity.