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Is it significant that at this precise moment it is 11:11 p.m. on 11 November, 2011?

This question raises interesting linguistic questions.*

First, and most practically, does 11/11 mean 11 November or November 11? Which is more logical? This is entirely dependent on where one lives in the world and with whom one interacts. Grammar and syntax are extremely, even uncomfortably, relative due to dependence on usage.

Second, is the way we record and count time anything but a social construct? A highly useful, nearly indispensable one, but a social construct nonetheless. Its nature as a social construct, then, means moments such as this one (which has assuredly already passed anyway by the time you finish reading this parenthetical, or before you even started it, for that matter) have no special significance whatsoever. They do, however, give us special human feelings, just like other entirely insignificant events can do (e.g., a favorite sports team winning a game).

If you have definitive answers to these questions, that is interesting. If you do not, no worries. Happy Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day anyway.

*This post operates on the enormous underlying but unproven assumption that numbers, including time and dates, are language.


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今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。