Last week's easy question was: what's the URL for a blog post titled "???"? The answer is http://justinnhli.blogspot.com/2009/01/blog-post.html So it turns the zero-length title (after stripping punctuation) into "blog post". This non-intuitive result proves that it was a good question to ask.

The other question was, why don't we have languages based on our senses of olfaction and gustation?

I can only speculate, of course, but I came up with the following:
  • Difficulty in Production. Humans have no biological method of producing different types of smells or tastes, and there is even harder to standardize these between cultures and races. Even in the modern world, it is relatively difficult to produce pieces of material which smell. The existence of Braille, however, suggests that this will be possible in the future, momentarily disregarding the points below.
  • Difficulty in Storage. Even if we had a way to produce smells, we have no non-destructive way of storing these senses for preservation. Braille is the same way, which is perhaps part of why it's used less often. Note that our sense of hearing is also short term, and technology has developed to capture that sense (tape recorders, etc).
  • Difficulty in Perception. This doesn't mean that we have to try hard to smell or taste, but that we have limitations in these two senses. It is hard to know precisely when one smell ends and another begins, which is a feature in all our other senses. Further more, what smells we can distinguish has a biological basis (through genes), so not everyone can detect every smell.
  • Lack of Necessity. The most important reason on here is probably the lack of necessity. We simply have no need to depend on our senses of olfaction and gustation for language. What we see, hear, and touch is much more salient, and so few people are blind, deaf, and amputated at the same time that there is no need to specially cater to them.
Also one and a half questions this week.

The first half question is a continuation of last week's. This post is also titled "???"; what is the URL? I'm guessing it will be something like blog-post-2.html, but we'll see.

As for the real question: some people have a pet peeve related to how others respond to "how are you doing?" Which of the following is grammatically correct, and why?
  • I'm doing good.
  • I'm doing well.
  • I'm doing fine.
  • I'm doing better.
  • I'm doing best.
  • I'm doing great.

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