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To me the story as written pretty clearly implied that she had acquired time-related superpowers by learning this language. Even as a believer in block time this was deeply unsatisfactory. (I don't think this needs any complex explanation as Gwern looks for; I think the simpler explanation is that the story means what it seems to mean, and is simply a bad story).



But in the short story it's important that everything anyone does is still understandable with based on a linear understanding of time. The movie messes this up with some retro-causality that isn't in the short story.


I'd rather say it's a story with some magical handwaving, not necessarily a bad one. (Yes, magical handwaving is a blemish, but not necessarily a catastrophic one.)




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