Veiled Language and Inuendo: Language and Human Nature

Language expert Steven Pinker

READ HIS INTERVIEW (or see that video) for more after you watch the animated one:

http://bigthink.com/ideas/4645

Language is “distinctively human” and therefore, he believes, a window into our nature.

***If you are interested, you can buy the entire book “The Stuff of Thought” HERE

 

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Inuendo, “Polite speak , Euphemisms, Veiled Language….what do these say about us?

He discusses these 3 basic human relationship types and how Language works with them:

1. Dominance

2. Communality

3. Reciprocity

How do divergent understandings of these lead to…AWKWARDNESS

Why do we resort to INDIRECTNESS even when we know what is going on? 

What does it mean when something is “OUT THERE”? Can you ever take back “Overt” language?

How do his comments on crowdsourcing and social protest (i.e.MULTUAL KNOWLEDGE relate world events today? How does EXPLICIT language foster mutual knowledge?

Here’s an excellent blog post debriefing some of the thoughts in the video: http://meteuphoric.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/why-not-say-what-mea/

 

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