The meaning of the word superior is very strong and quite dominant. We can never assume that English is superior to other languages, it has become an easy way of communication but each nation will consider their own language as being important to them. A language has many components such as grammar, vocabulary and rules of usage. So it is not easy to say that English is superior to other languages. A linguistic myth analyses that fact. It explains that there fact that some languages are superior to others is not true and it has no basis in linguistic fact. Linguists explain that some languages are more useful than others, at a given period of history.
The confusion raised by Mr. Matloff occurs most often in computer generated Chinese text. The trouble is due to the governments arbitrarily assigning certain amount of frequently used words as limit for “literacy competence”. In the mainland, the government originally designated about 7000 characters as standard under the gb-code, whereas Taiwan designated 12000 characters under the big-5 code. While in handwriting, anyone who is proficient in the Chinese language has no trouble converting into the right characters, the computer does not have this intelligence with the result of the example given by Mr. Matloff. Because the traditional “hair” is not in the commonly used list of simplified characters, the computer just gives a similar sounding but the wrong traditional character.
Solutions: 1. Standardize the 2 forms of writing leaning toward simplified forms; 2. increase or restore the correct characters in the simplified system to match those in the traditional system.
There is, however, one relationship between thought and language which is not myth. That relationship is exemplified in Chinese by the tendency of ordinary Chinese to understate, or to convey meaning indirectly. Not only do the Chinese not share our predilection for expletives of a superlative intent such as "Terrific!" "Great!" "Fantastic!" and the like, but they frequently describe situations through understatement, double negatives, apparent vagueness, euphemism, and allusive language. In negotiation, an agreement to a proposal may be given as wenti buda, which literally means "The problems are not great." This tendency is related to formulaic expressions in Chinese such as bucuo "no error" = "right you are," bushao "not few" = a lot," chabuduo "off not much" = "approximately." Similarly, a denial may take the form of "Perhaps it's not convenient" or "Possibly the time isn't right" for a refusal to respond to a proposal that is seen as impossible to implement. Criticism is often given indirectly, but effectively. Frequently historical allusion is used to describe a situation that the critic does not like, and the reader or hearer is left to infer who in contemporary life is being castigated. The former head of state, Liu Shaoqi, was labeled as "China's Khruschev" in the months before he was publicly identified and brought down. The late premier, Zhou Enlai, was identified with Confucius in the Anti-Confucius/Anti-Lin movement of the early seventies. Naturally, political labels and symbols form a major part of the vocabulary of both criticism and approbation, though it seems that the vocabulary for identifying deviants (right winger, right deviationist, capitalist roader, ultra-leftist, those who use the red flag to oppose the red flag, etc.) is much greater than that for identifying model citizens (as is equally true of the language use of the Christian Church).