Another Peanuts

From Eleanor Houck, a Peanuts on the language of textbooks:

Linguists and anthropologists have long commented on the artificiality of textbook queries like this one, and they have noted that the ability to abstract away from actual experience in interpreting them is something you learn in school. Otherwise, faced with something that begins with, say, Mary buys 60 cantaloupes, and goes on to ask about the situation, unschooled people are likely to say they can’t answer the question because they don’t know Mary.

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