Language

1. How much could you know about the world if you had no language or means of communicating with other people?

If we did not have any means of communication then there is not much that we would know about the world.  No one would know what France, England, Germany, etc would look like, besides the people who live there.  We would also not have any advances in technology. 

2. What are some examples of words that have entered the English language as a result of the computer revolution?

LOL, YOLO, 

3. Try to define as precisely as possible these words:

a. triangle- A three angled and sided geometric shape that is the sturdies in the natural world.   

b. love- An emotion that humans feel towards each other      

c. table-  A piece of plywood held above the ground by either three or four legs.  It is constructed to have items placed on top of it. 

What is the difference? Which was easiest to define?

The easiest to define is a triangle.  The reason why it is so easy is that it is something not abstract but material.  

4. How would you try to explain to a blind person what the word RED means? What does this suggest to you about the limitations of definitions?

In reality I would struggle to describe the color red to a blind person.  It would be difficult to explain something so abstract.  This suggests that definitions are really only there in order for a person who can fully understand to comprehend.

5. To what extent is your use of languages accompanied by images? Does every word conjur up an image or only some of them?

When I think or talk about something a movie like reel is playing inside of my head.  As I think I picture what the situation would actually look like.  

6. Do you think a robot (or Siri) could use and respond appropriately to language? What differences would it make in real life if that were the case?

I believe that robots will eventually have the ability to distinguish and respond to different forms of language.  This would make the world a whole new place because robots would then be able to interact and coexist with us. 

7. Do you think communication would be improved if we got rid of vague words?  DO you think vague or ambiguous words sometimes serve a purpose?

It is hard to say wether if language would be improved if abstract words would be taken out of our vocab. In some cases those vague and ambiguous words to serve a purpose but when only explaining vague or ambiguous things. 

8. Many jokes are based on ambiguity…can you give an example?

How do you make a turtle fast?
Take away his food.

9. When Bill Clinton entered the White House in `93, his wife Hillary wanted to be known as “Presidential Partner”, not “First Lady”. What is the difference in connotations? If a woman ever would become president of the USA, what do yo think would be an appropriate title for her husband?

The difference in connotations is that even though they both mean the same thing, one has a totally different meaning than the other.  “The First Lady” has been the title given to the most powerful woman in the United States but it is also a tulle that suffuses no power either.  In a way this title is taken that this lady is only going to concern herself with things inside the united states, i.e. obesity and health.  But the title Presidential Partner suggests that she would help with important meetings and or decisions.  If a woman was to become the president it would most likely that the spouse would be called something along the lines of Presidential Partner but I think that the spouse should be called the first husband in order to level out the playing field. 

10. Birds fly and planes fly. Since fish swim, why don’t we say that submarines also swim? What do submarines do?

Submarines they sail just like ships.   

11. What would be the advantages  and disadvantages of everyone in the world spoke a common language? What would be gained and what would be lost?

Advantages: Global business would be easier.  People could travel with a lot more confidence.  There would be no language barrier.

Disadvantages: It would probably be ruled by one government.  

12. What can or have you learned about your own language by studying a second language? can you provide examples from your second language which have no English equivalent? What about idioms (expressions)?

I take Spanish and there are a couple of idiomatic phrases that don’t have a direct translation.  

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siete

13. What kind of texts do you think are easy to translate from one language to another and what kinds are more difficult? Can you provide an example from your study of L’Etranger by Camus?

Texts that I think that would be easy to translate would be ones of Latin orgine, like Spanish, French, or Italian.  My reason being that English has many Latin phrases.  

14. In what ways to we classify people (e.g. astrological sign, race, nationality, music choice, etc.) and what are the advatnages and disadvantages of this? Are some more natural or better than others? How many ways can YOU be classified via language?

We classify people as being either white, black, asian, etc.  The only advantage to this is to describe a person to someone who has never seen them before.  The main disadvantage is that people then become racist towards one race or another for various reasons. I can be classified as being white, haole, german, polish, surfer type, blond, etc.  

15. Take 2 advertising slogans of your choice – such as “Just Do It” by Nike- explain why you think they are effective (or not)

“red bull gives you wings”- I believe that this slogan is good because it is catchy and it give the sense that this drink gives you special powers. 

“Gopro be a Hero”- This slogan is good because it give the buyer that this product is some sort of special thing because you’re a hero.  

16. A lot of advertisers describe products as “natural”, because there are connotations that “natural” or “organic” is good. Can you give examples when “natural/ organic” is bad?

 

 

17. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” – Analyze the way language is used in each of these pairs of expressions: pro-life/pro-choice; genetically-modified food/ Frankenstein food; Free speech/ Hate Speech; “Blocking your child’s access to objectionable material on the Internet is not called Censorship, it;s called Parenting” (Al Gore); piracy/ file-sharing

Pro life is means one’s beliefs of wither abortions is right or wrong and pro-choice is the belief that one gets to choose whats best for them.  GMO literally gives its connotation in the title but Frankenstein food gives the connotations that somehow the food is dead.  Free speech gives the connotation that people have the right to speak whatever they think.  Hate speech means that people speak out against other people.  Piracy gives the connotations that someone is stealing something from another person.  File sharing gives the impression that someone is just sharing something. 

18. In 1947 the U.S. Department of War was renamed the Department of Defense. Do you think this makes a difference? Explain.

This does make a difference because War gives the connotation that we as a nation like or support war but the word defense suggests that we only go to war when provoked. 

19. Do you agree with the old rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”? In light of the effects of cyberbullying, how might you analyse this quote?

Yes I do agree with this nursery rhyme but in this day and age it has less of an impact.  With cyber bullying on the rise this quote does not have as much of an effect because it was meant for bullies who would personally intimidate or hurt other kids on the playground. 

20. The “Political Correctness” movement has been popular in the past 2 decades, striving to use language to change attitudes to the oppressed or disadvantaged. What examples can you give of “PC language” or a “PC incident” and what are your personal thoughts?

 

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