On 4/21/08, [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I suppose if someone wanted to really economize on vocabulary they
could just have North and West and make the others "anti-North" and
"anti-West", after all we have "Antarctic" for the opposite of
"Arctic".  Yes, you could also make up something like "West+right"
for "North" but I think that may be a bit confusing, especially
given the number of people who seem to have a problem figuring out
left from right (I like to call this "direxia" <

 That should be absolutely untrue. What we call economy is regarding how much time we costed between the expressing process and the learning time. Language is a balance between learning time and the expressing time. For every body has to complete these two processes during their life time. Once a language out of this balance, it would be a disaster. The current English vocabulary is soaring without any curb. The reason is that the language wants to reduce the time of expressing while didn't care about how people remember the huge quantity of words. There is another tendency of language. It was started from Aristotle. He believed that any words could be deduced from one word which he called as 'substance'. His mistake was not care about the time of expressing. Suppose after twenty deductive steps from the 'substance' the word should be at least as long as twenty syllables. Just think about if every word is as long as twenty syllables what should be happened to everyday speak? Anyway, "anti-north" would longer than "south" and "anti-west" would be longer than "east". So, what I reckon is that the most frequently used words should be the basic or fundamental words; we may call them as semanteme, semantic primitive or whatever. Unless you can prove that 'west' is more frequently used word than 'east', you could not use 'anti-west' as east. For some one may ask you "Why 'anti-west', why not using 'anti-east' for 'west'?"

Cheng-Zhong Su