the way that language colors–no pun intended–our perception of the world is just so delightfully sticky
I remember reading once that Japanese has one word that means both “blue” and “green”, and that a study was done on color-distinguishing abilities of native speakers, and it turned out that they could distinguish between fewer shades of blue and green than speakers of languages that had separate words for the colors.
Or that in a study, English speakers were more likely to blame someone else for breaking something than Spanish speakers were. (I believe the study was something like they had the subject and another person in a closed room, other person broke an object, researcher came in and asked what happened.) And it was chalked up to the fact that, in Spanish, you don’t use the phrasing “He broke it”. You say “Se rompio”, which literally means “it broke itself”, even if you know damn well that someone deliberately broke it. It’s just how the language works. In English, we can also say “It broke”, but we also have the linguistic flexibility to say “He broke it”. But it’s less about being a tattletale and more that… well… that’s what happened. You asked, he’s answering.
language is fascinating