“I was three, sitting alone, humming a Russian children’s song to myself. In translation:
Little finch, little finch, where have you been?
—Down at the market, drinking vodka.
Hearing this performance, a visiting grown-up asked, did I know what vodka was? Now, the Russian for water is Vadá, and Vodka is its diminutive. So, being asked about vodka, I replied, “Eto málinkaya Vadá”—“it’s small water.” I confess to this story, because it signals an early tendency to address the signifier instead of the signified.”
—Leo Steinberg, False Starts, Loose Ends
I’m interested in the relationship between the semiotics of programming language and natural language, although I don’t have a cogent arguement right now.