Monday, January 23, 2017

Deutscher: Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

The following article was written by Guy Deutscher [see image at left] , an honorary research fellow at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester. It appeared in the New York Times on August 26, 2010. Click here to read the entire article. Deutscher's book, from which this article is adapted, is Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages, published this month by Metropolitan Books.

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

Seventy years ago, in 1940, a popular science magazine published a short article that set in motion one of the trendiest intellectual fads of the 20th century. At first glance, there seemed little about the article to augur its subsequent celebrity. Neither the title, “Science and Linguistics,” nor the magazine, M.I.T.’s Technology Review, was most people’s idea of glamour. And the author, a chemical engineer who worked for an insurance company and moonlighted as an anthropology lecturer at Yale University, was an unlikely candidate for international superstardom. And yet Benjamin Lee Whorf [see image at right] let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stirring prose seduced a whole generation into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think.
In particular, Whorf announced, Native American languages impose on their speakers a picture of reality that is totally different from ours, so their speakers would simply not be able to understand some of our most basic concepts, like the flow of time or the distinction between objects (like “stone”) and actions (like “fall”). For decades, Whorf’s theory dazzled both academics and the general public alike. In his shadow, others made a whole range of imaginative claims about the supposed power of language, from the assertion that Native American languages instill in their speakers an intuitive understanding of Einstein’s concept of time as a fourth dimension to the theory that the nature of the Jewish religion was determined by the tense system of ancient Hebrew.
Eventually, Whorf’s theory crash-landed on hard facts and solid common sense, when it transpired that there had never actually been any evidence to support his fantastic claims. The reaction was so severe that for decades, any attempts to explore the influence of the mother tongue on our thoughts were relegated to the loony fringes of disrepute. But 70 years on, it is surely time to put the trauma of Whorf behind us. And in the last few years, new research has revealed that when we learn our mother tongue, we do after all acquire certain habits of thought that shape our experience in significant and often surprising ways.

Whorf, we now know, made many mistakes. The most serious one was to assume that our mother tongue constrains our minds and prevents us from being able to think certain thoughts. The general structure of his arguments was to claim that if a language has no word for a certain concept, then its speakers would not be able to understand this concept. If a language has no future tense, for instance, its speakers would simply not be able to grasp our notion of future time. It seems barely comprehensible that this line of argument could ever have achieved such success, given that so much contrary evidence confronts you wherever you look. When you ask, in perfectly normal English, and in the present tense, “Are you coming tomorrow?” do you feel your grip on the notion of futurity slipping away? Do English speakers who have never heard the German word Schadenfreude find it difficult to understand the concept of relishing someone else’s misfortune? Or think about it this way: If the inventory of ready-made words in your language determined which concepts you were able to understand, how would you ever learn anything new?
SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that any language forbids its speakers to think anything, we must look in an entirely different direction to discover how our mother tongue really does shape our experience of the world. Some 50 years ago, the renowned linguist Roman Jakobson pointed out a crucial fact about differences between languages in a pithy maxim: “Languages differ essentially in what they mustconvey and not in what they may convey.” This maxim offers us the key to unlocking the real force of the mother tongue: if different languages influence our minds in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about.
Consider this example. Suppose I say to you in English that “I spent yesterday evening with a neighbor.” You may well wonder whether my companion was male or female, but I have the right to tell you politely that it’s none of your business. But if we were speaking French or German, I wouldn’t have the privilege to equivocate in this way, because I would be obliged by the grammar of language to choose betweenvoisin or voisineNachbar or Nachbarin. These languages compel me to inform you about the sex of my companion whether or not I feel it is remotely your concern. This does not mean, of course, that English speakers are unable to understand the differences between evenings spent with male or female neighbors, but it does mean that they do not have to consider the sexes of neighbors, friends, teachers and a host of other persons each time they come up in a conversation, whereas speakers of some languages are obliged to do so.
On the other hand, English does oblige you to specify certain types of information that can be left to the context in other languages. If I want to tell you in English about a dinner with my neighbor, I may not have to mention the neighbor’s sex, but I do have to tell you something about the timing of the event: I have to decide whether we dinedhave been diningare diningwill be dining and so on. Chinese, on the other hand, does not oblige its speakers to specify the exact time of the action in this way, because the same verb form can be used for past, present or future actions. Again, this does not mean that the Chinese are unable to understand the concept of time. But it does mean they are not obliged to think about timing whenever they describe an action.
When your language routinely obliges you to specify certain types of information, it forces you to be attentive to certain details in the world and to certain aspects of experience that speakers of other languages may not be required to think about all the time. And since such habits of speech are cultivated from the earliest age, it is only natural that they can settle into habits of mind that go beyond language itself, affecting your experiences, perceptions, associations, feelings, memories and orientation in the world.
BUT IS THERE any evidence for this happening in practice?
Let’s take genders again. Languages like Spanish, French, German and Russian not only oblige you to think about the sex of friends and neighbors, but they also assign a male or female gender to a whole range of inanimate objects quite at whim. What, for instance, is particularly feminine about a Frenchman’s beard (la barbe)? Why is Russian water a she, and why does she become a he once you have dipped a tea bag into her? Mark Twain famously lamented such erratic genders as female turnips and neuter maidens in his rant “The Awful German Language.” But whereas he claimed that there was something particularly perverse about the German gender system, it is in fact English that is unusual, at least among European languages, in not treating turnips and tea cups as masculine or feminine. Languages that treat an inanimate object as a he or a she force their speakers to talk about such an object as if it were a man or a woman. And as anyone whose mother tongue has a gender system will tell you, once the habit has taken hold, it is all but impossible to shake off. When I speak English, I may say about a bed that “it” is too soft, but as a native Hebrew speaker, I actually feel “she” is too soft. “She” stays feminine all the way from the lungs up to the glottis and is neutered only when she reaches the tip of the tongue.
In recent years, various experiments have shown that grammatical genders can shape the feelings and associations of speakers toward objects around them. In the 1990s, for example, psychologists compared associations between speakers of German and Spanish. There are many inanimate nouns whose genders in the two languages are reversed. A German bridge is feminine (die Brücke), for instance, but el puente is masculine in Spanish; and the same goes for clocks, apartments, forks, newspapers, pockets, shoulders, stamps, tickets, violins, the sun, the world and love. On the other hand, an apple is masculine for Germans but feminine in Spanish, and so are chairs, brooms, butterflies, keys, mountains, stars, tables, wars, rain and garbage. When speakers were asked to grade various objects on a range of characteristics, Spanish speakers deemed bridges, clocks and violins to have more “manly properties” like strength, but Germans tended to think of them as more slender or elegant. With objects like mountains or chairs, which are “he” in German but “she” in Spanish, the effect was reversed.
In a different experiment, French and Spanish speakers were asked to assign human voices to various objects in a cartoon. When French speakers saw a picture of a fork (la fourchette), most of them wanted it to speak in a woman’s voice, but Spanish speakers, for whom el tenedor is masculine, preferred a gravelly male voice for it. More recently, psychologists have even shown that “gendered languages” imprint gender traits for objects so strongly in the mind that these associations obstruct speakers’ ability to commit information to memory.
Of course, all this does not mean that speakers of Spanish or French or German fail to understand that inanimate objects do not really have biological sex — a German woman rarely mistakes her husband for a hat, and Spanish men are not known to confuse a bed with what might be lying in it. Nonetheless, once gender connotations have been imposed on impressionable young minds, they lead those with a gendered mother tongue to see the inanimate world through lenses tinted with associations and emotional responses that English speakers — stuck in their monochrome desert of “its” — are entirely oblivious to. Did the opposite genders of “bridge” in German and Spanish, for example, have an effect on the design of bridges in Spain and Germany? Do the emotional maps imposed by a gender system have higher-level behavioral consequences for our everyday life? Do they shape tastes, fashions, habits and preferences in the societies concerned? At the current state of our knowledge about the brain, this is not something that can be easily measured in a psychology lab. But it would be surprising if they didn’t.
The area where the most striking evidence for the influence of language on thought has come to light is the language of space — how we describe the orientation of the world around us. Suppose you want to give someone directions for getting to your house. You might say: “After the traffic lights, take the first left, then the second right, and then you’ll see a white house in front of you. Our door is on the right.” But in theory, you could also say: “After the traffic lights, drive north, and then on the second crossing drive east, and you’ll see a white house directly to the east. Ours is the southern door.” These two sets of directions may describe the same route, but they rely on different systems of coordinates. The first uses egocentric coordinates, which depend on our own bodies: a left-right axis and a front-back axis orthogonal to it. The second system uses fixed geographic directions, which do not rotate with us wherever we turn.
We find it useful to use geographic directions when hiking in the open countryside, for example, but the egocentric coordinates completely dominate our speech when we describe small-scale spaces. We don’t say: “When you get out of the elevator, walk south, and then take the second door to the east.” The reason the egocentric system is so dominant in our language is that it feels so much easier and more natural. After all, we always know where “behind” or “in front of” us is. We don’t need a map or a compass to work it out, we just feel it, because the egocentric coordinates are based directly on our own bodies and our immediate visual fields.
But then a remote Australian aboriginal tongue, Guugu Yimithirr, from north Queensland, turned up, and with it came the astounding realization that not all languages conform to what we have always taken as simply “natural.” In fact, Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t make any use of egocentric coordinates at all. The anthropologist John Haviland and later the linguist Stephen Levinson have shown that Guugu Yimithirr does not use words like “left” or “right,” “in front of” or “behind,” to describe the position of objects. Whenever we would use the egocentric system, the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions. If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room, they’ll say “move a bit to the east.” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house, they’ll say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.” Or they would warn you to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot.” Even when shown a film on television, they gave descriptions of it based on the orientation of the screen. If the television was facing north, and a man on the screen was approaching, they said that he was “coming northward.”
When these peculiarities of Guugu Yimithirr were uncovered, they inspired a large-scale research project into the language of space. And as it happens, Guugu Yimithirr is not a freak occurrence; languages that rely primarily on geographical coordinates are scattered around the world, from Polynesia to Mexico, from Namibia to Bali. For us, it might seem the height of absurdity for a dance teacher to say, “Now raise your north hand and move your south leg eastward.” But the joke would be lost on some: the Canadian-American musicologist Colin McPhee, who spent several years on Bali in the 1930s, recalls a young boy who showed great talent for dancing. As there was no instructor in the child’s village, McPhee arranged for him to stay with a teacher in a different village. But when he came to check on the boy’s progress after a few days, he found the boy dejected and the teacher exasperated. It was impossible to teach the boy anything, because he simply did not understand any of the instructions. When told to take “three steps east” or “bend southwest,” he didn’t know what to do. The boy would not have had the least trouble with these directions in his own village, but because the landscape in the new village was entirely unfamiliar, he became disoriented and confused. Why didn’t the teacher use different instructions? He would probably have replied that saying “take three steps forward” or “bend backward” would be the height of absurdity.
So different languages certainly make us speak about space in very different ways. But does this necessarily mean that we have to thinkabout space differently? By now red lights should be flashing, because even if a language doesn’t have a word for “behind,” this doesn’t necessarily mean that its speakers wouldn’t be able to understand this concept. Instead, we should look for the possible consequences of what geographic languages oblige their speakers to convey. In particular, we should be on the lookout for what habits of mind might develop because of the necessity of specifying geographic directions all the time.
In order to speak a language like Guugu Yimithirr, you need to know where the cardinal directions are at each and every moment of your waking life. You need to have a compass in your mind that operates all the time, day and night, without lunch breaks or weekends off, since otherwise you would not be able to impart the most basic information or understand what people around you are saying. Indeed, speakers of geographic languages seem to have an almost-superhuman sense of orientation. Regardless of visibility conditions, regardless of whether they are in thick forest or on an open plain, whether outside or indoors or even in caves, whether stationary or moving, they have a spot-on sense of direction. They don’t look at the sun and pause for a moment of calculation before they say, “There’s an ant just north of your foot.” They simply feel where north, south, west and east are, just as people with perfect pitch feel what each note is without having to calculate intervals. There is a wealth of stories about what to us may seem like incredible feats of orientation but for speakers of geographic languages are just a matter of course. One report relates how a speaker of Tzeltal from southern Mexico was blindfolded and spun around more than 20 times in a darkened house. Still blindfolded and dizzy, he pointed without hesitation at the geographic directions.
How does this work? The convention of communicating with geographic coordinates compels speakers from the youngest age to pay attention to the clues from the physical environment (the position of the sun, wind and so on) every second of their lives, and to develop an accurate memory of their own changing orientations at any given moment. So everyday communication in a geographic language provides the most intense imaginable drilling in geographic orientation (it has been estimated that as much as 1 word in 10 in a normal Guugu Yimithirr conversation is “north,” “south,” “west” or “east,” often accompanied by precise hand gestures). This habit of constant awareness to the geographic direction is inculcated almost from infancy: studies have shown that children in such societies start using geographic directions as early as age 2 and fully master the system by 7 or 8. With such an early and intense drilling, the habit soon becomes second nature, effortless and unconscious. When Guugu Yimithirr speakers were asked how they knew where north is, they couldn’t explain it any more than you can explain how you know where “behind” is.
But there is more to the effects of a geographic language, for the sense of orientation has to extend further in time than the immediate present. If you speak a Guugu Yimithirr-style language, your memories of anything that you might ever want to report will have to be stored with cardinal directions as part of the picture. One Guugu Yimithirr speaker was filmed telling his friends the story of how in his youth, he capsized in shark-infested waters. He and an older person were caught in a storm, and their boat tipped over. They both jumped into the water and managed to swim nearly three miles to the shore, only to discover that the missionary for whom they worked was far more concerned at the loss of the boat than relieved at their miraculous escape. Apart from the dramatic content, the remarkable thing about the story was that it was remembered throughout in cardinal directions: the speaker jumped into the water on the western side of the boat, his companion to the east of the boat, they saw a giant shark swimming north and so on. Perhaps the cardinal directions were just made up for the occasion? Well, quite by chance, the same person was filmed some years later telling the same story. The cardinal directions matched exactly in the two tellings. Even more remarkable were the spontaneous hand gestures that accompanied the story. For instance, the direction in which the boat rolled over was gestured in the correct geographic orientation, regardless of the direction the speaker was facing in the two films.
Psychological experiments have also shown that under certain circumstances, speakers of Guugu Yimithirr-style languages even remember “the same reality” differently from us. There has been heated debate about the interpretation of some of these experiments, but one conclusion that seems compelling is that while we are trained to ignore directional rotations when we commit information to memory, speakers of geographic languages are trained not to do so. One way of understanding this is to imagine that you are traveling with a speaker of such a language and staying in a large chain-style hotel, with corridor upon corridor of identical-looking doors. Your friend is staying in the room opposite yours, and when you go into his room, you’ll see an exact replica of yours: the same bathroom door on the left, the same mirrored wardrobe on the right, the same main room with the same bed on the left, the same curtains drawn behind it, the same desk next to the wall on the right, the same television set on the left corner of the desk and the same telephone on the right. In short, you have seen the same room twice. But when your friend comes into your room, he will see something quite different from this, because everything is reversed north-side-south. In his room the bed was in the north, while in yours it is in the south; the telephone that in his room was in the west is now in the east, and so on. So while you will see and remember the same room twice, a speaker of a geographic language will see and remember two different rooms.
It is not easy for us to conceive how Guugu Yimithirr speakers experience the world, with a crisscrossing of cardinal directions imposed on any mental picture and any piece of graphic memory. Nor is it easy to speculate about how geographic languages affect areas of experience other than spatial orientation — whether they influence the speaker’s sense of identity, for instance, or bring about a less-egocentric outlook on life. But one piece of evidence is telling: if you saw a Guugu Yimithirr speaker pointing at himself, you would naturally assume he meant to draw attention to himself. In fact, he is pointing at a cardinal direction that happens to be behind his back. While we are always at the center of the world, and it would never occur to us that pointing in the direction of our chest could mean anything other than to draw attention to ourselves, a Guugu Yimithirr speaker points through himself, as if he were thin air and his own existence were irrelevant.
IN WHAT OTHER WAYS might the language we speak influence our experience of the world?
To read the rest of the article, click on the link at the top of this article!


  1. I thought this particular article would focus more on different languages, but I also didn't mind learning about the different types of directions. Guugu Yimithirr speakers are wild. I guess this does have more to do with language than I thought, but it was really interesting to know how they see the world, and how I see the world. To be, essentially, a human compass is just baffling to me. I wonder what it would be like to view the world through a lense of Guugu Yimithirr.
    Another point that confused me was relating feminine and masculine qualities with inanimate objects. I, just for an example, am not bilingual. I don’t even know any “rules” for any other foreign languages. The only language I know is English, and I found it kind of weird that people that speak Spanish, French, and German, all give inanimate objects a gender! Now, because inanimate objects can’t have genders, and due to the more extensive reading I did, I learned that people with gender defining “mother tongues” only give objects a gender because of the qualities they possess. For example, Mountains and chairs are viewed as he’s to Germans and are referred to as she’s in Spanish. French speakers view forks as feminine, while Spanish speakers view them as more masculine. It’s just all very interesting to be in the mindsets of someone else’s language. It makes me think what their perspective is on telephones, paper, chalkboards, etc.

  2. I found that this reading gave an interesting insight into the way that we perceive the world around us due to our own mother languages. Although he gave many harsh criticisms to Whorf’s theories, Deutscher also took aspects of these theories that were rooted in fact and expanded on them in a way I had never considered. The whole idea of having different forms of understanding for different things depending on your primary language is a very eye opening concept to anyone attempting to learn a foreign language. For example, the concept of identifying a chair as either feminine or masculine is incredibly foreign to an English speaker. This was a concept that was difficult for me to grasp when I attempted to teach myself French. This idea that seems absurd to us is only second nature to someone who speaks the language while there are concepts in our own language that we give little thought to but challenges others. I find these differences interesting and an important obstacle to overcome anytime someone attempts a new language. Individuals who have never studied other languages typically assume that to learn a new language is to learn a new set of words, but in truth there is much more to it than that.

    Cody Baggerly

    1. I agree with the difficulty of genderized nouns. It seems like genders are randomly assigned. A native speaker of Spanish I know, when I asked how he knew all the genders of nouns, just responded: "I dunno, you just kinda feel it."

  3. While Whorf did say that language depends on the speakers’ picture of reality. He also explained that some speakers would not understand the SAME concepts as the article states, “…between objects and actions.” He used Native Americans as an example.

    Due to Deutscher’s and Pinker’s different takes, they can agree to Roman Jakobson’s point: “Languages differ essentially in what they MUST convey and not in what they MAY convey.” I thought this was interesting as some languages differ in what is allowed versus what it is obliged. Deuthscher gives us an example by using the English language versus what French or German language allows. I understand that some tongues are compelled to inform you and other tongues are not. It is interesting how some native speakers of other languages are obliged to do so due to their native langauge rules. This can very much cause a person to think in ways that must be attentive thus influencing their thoughts, experiences and their own picture of reality.

  4. This article was really well written. I enjoyed the distinction Deutscher made between the concepts language allows and and those which it draws attention to, creating a force of habit more than actually restricting our thoughts. He offered a great example with the bed--"When I speak English, I may say about a bed that “it” is too soft, but as a native Hebrew speaker, I actually feel “she” is too soft. “She” stays feminine all the way from the lungs up to the glottis and is neutered only when she reaches the tip of the tongue." Deutscher still acknowledges that gendered/neutered language still has an effect on the way we perceive the world, even if that effect isn't an absolute *rule*.

  5. The Whorf guy was apparently a total hack. It's obvious precision in language doesn't affect precision in thought. Life isn't a video game where you have to complete the thought tutorial before you can move on. Push the "I am" button while pulling the "future tense" stick to think about what you'll be doing later!
    The article by Pinker begins with the "newspeak" thing from 1984, which set up a link of language to thought. He concludes his article saying that language exists separately from thought. Deutscher certainly wouldn't disagree, I think they may have an apples to oranges thing as far as their thoughts. It seems Deutscher buys more heavily into the effect language has on thought, for example the Guugu Yimithirr speakers thinking in terms of compass directions because that's what their language favors or the genderized nouns giving you a genderized thought process. Pinker would probably think these have a much less profound effect, as Mentalese exists without words but is then translated into words. Just my thoughts.

  6. I thought the difference between objects being masculine or feminine was interesting. One might not think that assigning a broom a gender would change one's view of an object, but it does. It can even change the usage of the object in a way. If I was German I might find the job of sweeping to be that of a man, after all it is a masculine object. It exhibits strength and can be used in a more "manly" way. However, a native Spanish thinker would think sweeping for a woman because of its feminine properties,and so forth.

  7. Whorf made some very bold (and very false) claims about other ethnic groups. Deutscher summed it up very well by referring to it as “the trauma of Whorf”. The man really made some awful mistakes.
    It was already brought up in past articles that certain misconceptions about other languages have been based on their language. Once again, the Native American concept of time has been brought up, now accompanied by ancient Hebrew and a little bit of German. We learned earlier that there is some prejudice when it comes to language, but because of Whorf it became even worse. He tried to make out their native tongue to be a cage, which devalues their language and makes the people who speak it out to be lesser than those who speak other languages (English).

    (Emily Callan)

  8. One of the final comments made by Deutscher that humbled me quite a bit was the inclination that a Guugu Yimithirr speaker pointing at him/herself is drawing attention to him/herself when he/she is merely designating a geographical location. We as Americans totally consider ourselves the center of the universe as every one of us is undeniably selfish in one sense or another. It isn't the American people that move but the totality of everything around us. All our experiences are relative to us while a Guugu Yimithirr speaker is relative to everything outside of him/herself including experiences, locations, and so on. That being said, I can certainly see how thoughts, and even personas, can be shaped by language, but it isn’t something that is easily noticed by someone exposed to only one language.

  9. Something I found interesting in this essay was about other languages having noun genders. I remember how difficult of a concept that was to grasp when I was learning German and it is still a little fuzzy of an idea to me.
    I also think it was interesting reading in the essay about the misconceptions about language.The idea that certain languages are better than others or sound better is not a not a new concept at all. I personally think that all language is beautiful and no language is more superior than the others.

  10. Deutscher and Pinker had very obviously differing viewpoints regarding language and thought. Pinker disagreed with the notion that language shapes thought but Deutscher presented some very good arguments in favor of the idea. I was most intrigued by the Guugu Yimithirr language and their unique understanding of the cardinal directions (mostly because I have a terrible sense of direction). I would never dream of saying “please hand me the pen to the north of your hand,” but that’s simply because that’s not the norm in our language! If our language was based on geographic directions instead of egocentric directions, it would be perfectly natural to say and think that way.

  11. First of all, I think Pinker's theory dealt more with the hypothetical language of thought, and whether or not the language is made up of actual words, or made up more of feelings and emotions. On the contrary, in this essay, Deutcher states that our native language constrains us, and prevents us from thinking certain thoughts. This is said to be because of the differences in most languages. For example, there are many words in other languages that do not directly translate into English, so we, as native English speakers, could not possibly understand the concept, nor could we have rational thoughts about them.

  12. Deutscher did a good job in this article as far as drawing a middle line from Whorf’s radical ways. I still very much disagree with his thoughts that your mother tongue dictates what you can think. However, Deutscher took it down a notch with something that I had not even given consideration. He instead proposes that our mother tongue dictates the way we see things and how we think of them, rather than blurring the concept itself. Just because I use “behind” and someone else uses “South” does not mean that I don’t understand the concept of cardinal directions, or that they can’t understand what behind means. Rather it just highlights the differences in language. Something new that I learned was that there are several languages not using egocentric directions. Now that I give it more thought it is not surprising, I just had to take a minute to wrap my head around the fact that people who use the cardinal system only have learned their direction as a second nature. That is something I find very admirable and interesting.

  13. I thought the part of the article about how some languages do not have any other directional words besides the geographical coordinates was very interesting. My grandpa only gives directions in the cardinal directions, but, when I asked him to tell me how to get to a different room in his house, he gave me left and right directions. I had never thought about giving small scale directions in N-S-E-W. Something that I think has effected the way I see the world, in respect to my language, is age. In English, we have an almost negative connotation on the word 'old' and a positive connotation on the word 'young'. If we talk about old people that we respect, we call them 'elderly', and if we don't agree with something someone has said, who is younger than us, we call them 'childish' or 'naive'. I have a family friend, who is moving to China. In America, he is considered old. He is almost 55. He told my father that in China, he fits in very well with the "young" crowds at the bars. They do not have a stigma on age like we do.