I just ordered a copy of The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax, which, among other things, debunks the stories about how Eskimos have lots of words for snow.
Now for the bit that only Hebrew speakers are going to understand.
No matter how debunked Whorf is, I'm still convinced that Israelis are more likely to do things דווקא, simply because they have a word for it. And I have been forced to write entire essays simply because I cannot find any other way to convey to English speakers the difference between ראש גדול and ראש קטן. All I wanted to say was that methodologies encourage ראש קטן and I need everyone on my team to be ראש גדול.
To someone who has never learned Hebrew it takes me two or three books to explain that. MSF is a fraud–an attempt to consolidate all the ראש גדול things Microsoft programmers do in a set of rules which are supposed to work if you force ראש קטן bizonim to implement them. And it’s never going to work.
I have been trying to translate this simple concept to English for years and am just about ready to give up. The Joel on Software award for excellence in technical translation will go to the person who can best express the preceding two paragraphs in English!
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.