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You make a really interesting point here – and you do it quite subtly. Actually, I guess you make two points: first that language makes a huge difference in perception; and second, spinning off from that, you seem to be suggesting ala the use of the “re” prefix that perhaps we really don’t need completely new things. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that there is nothing new under the sun, but it has always struck me that some of the people we regard as geniuses real innovators, were people who didn’t necessarily invent so much as cobble together ideas to make something larger than the sum. Take Shakespeare or the Beatles. Shakespeare stole a lot of the plots he used, either from other playwrights or from historical texts. There were lots of other Romeo and Juliets out there when he wrote his. But he knew how to take that basic plot and weave it together with other bits and pieces to make something magical. Same principle with the Beatles. They stole from The Beach Boys, Little Richard, The Rolling Stones, Dylan . . . but they put all those influences together to make something amazing.

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