YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=FzCp5JFaqHI
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Duration:03:57
Uploaded:2017-12-01
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In which Hank discusses loanword adaptation for two minutes in order to distract himself from the crushing reality of all of what he must do.

One thing that I did not say in this video...that's just for you dear dedicated dooblydoo reader...is that "stressing out" as we sometimes call it (focusing on the worry rather than the work) is a kind of flight. It is the easiest, most monkey-brain thing to do. There is nowhere to run, and we don't want the unpleasantness of engaging with the fight, so we flee into fear and it eats us because we literally have no defense against it.

If you'd like to learn more about stress and our physiological responses to it, here's a SciShow on how presistent stress harms our bodies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViWCk74Bu8k

And here's a Crash Course I did on emotion, stress, and health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KbSRXP0wik

Also linked in this video is the video I did on hankschannel on the processes I've used to deal with things I can't deal with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr8wIiypS_g

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Good morning, John.

Yesterday I let everybody know that I was stuck in, as you say, Cheyenne, Wyoming. I'm working on my book.

Since I've been stuck in book-land, I haven't been thinking about what I'm gonna do on Vlogbrothers. So I asked everybody what I should talk about. And CGP Grey asked how in the world the word "Cheyenne", this word, is pronounced like a girl named Anne who doesn't talk very much. ("Shy Anne") 'Cause his brain sees that word and is just like, "Nope.

That is not a word that can be pronounced." And I can understand that. And it's probably for an actual reason. Because the word Cheyenne went through several rapid rounds of what linguists call loanword adaptation.

That's when speakers of one language take a word from another language and then they modify the sounds in it so they can say it. Like, they make it pronounceable with the noises that their language has. In English, the loanword adaptation of "burrito" is burrito, because we don't roll our R's.

Which is something that every language does. So, when French settlers were first learning about people in the western United States, they asked the people that they had been talking with, who were Dakota, about these other people, who were not Dakota, and the Dakota gave the French people their word for those people. The French people then adapted that loanword into something that sounded kind of like "shey-en," and then somewhat rapidly, English adapted that loanword from French from "shey-en" to "shy-an," which sounds much more American, right? And I say American because this isn't just about languages, it's about dialects, it's about the sounds that we make.

Like, "shy-an" is not the kind of noise that a British person would make. I'm sure they would find a  much more lovely way of saying that word. Loanword adaptation isn't a sign of disrespect for a language, it's a sign that we need this word and we can't say it with the noises that you make because we don't have those noises.

Anyway, this video is about stress and how to deal with it. I know that it doesn't seem like it. Here is the situation: when we experience, like, existential threats, threats to, like, our being, our identity, our existence, our stress response is built for physical threats.

And so our bodies do a bunch of stuff to prepare us for a physical threat.  They, like, our blood pressure goes up, our heart rate goes up, resources get  diverted from our immune system and from our digestion.  And we want to do one of two things, we want to fight or we want to flee. And the first two minutes of this video that was me fleeing. That is an excellent example of a bad, but not worst strategy, because at least now I know stuff I didn't know before. If I'm thinking about this, like, there's fight and there's flight; and flight is reading about linguistics, or going on Twitter or Facebook or whatever.  So what is fight? Right like I can't punch my email inbox, although certainly I would like to sometimes. A week ago I got a bunch of bad news in a row. And I was sitting right here at this desk and I remember thinking, like, that I had spent, like, a half an hour just trying to distract myself and running away from this unpleasantness.  It was like a bunch of bad things unrelated to each other, so it was just piling on top of me, right. It didn't get better until I interfaced with it.  And that might be thinking about it, or writing an email, or talking to somebody about it. But dealing with it, letting it be in my life.  That's the fight. Its remarkable, kind of, but thinking about the unpleasantness makes the unpleasantness so much less unpleasant. But because it is unpleasant you don't want to do it at all. And then I sent a bunch of emails and the fight was over and I had dealt with it.  And I was through it and I wasn't stressed out anymore. I could play with my baby and be happy. 

I know that this isn't always possible, my worst stresses in my life have been things that I can't fix, that you can't interface with.  They're just things that happen because bad things happen. That you just accept and that's no fun. The other things though, the things that I can, at least affect, in some way. And it can be hard to find the difference between those two things. I find that kinda  that nothing works except overpowering my lizard brain and actually doing the things that I know will help. Whether that's exercise, or contemplation or talking to somebody about it. Not running away to Reddit, not learning about linguistics. Interfacing with the thing that is causing the stress. And fighting, you know, in the most unnatural of ways.  Like slowly and methodically and with the knowledge that nothing is going to fix this except work.  

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.