How language creates us – Flyer News

By: Chris Miller – Sophomore, Communication

Language is the great key to learning all things terrestrial and beyond. It is that same key that traps us into certain beliefs and perception, but I will discuss this soon enough.

Language is so important to our daily life. Through language, we know that if we say a certain code with a certain amount of syllables, we will get food exactly how we like it. We know that we can make noises at each other and both meet at Chipotle on Brown Street at 1:15 p.m. for lunch. We can show love, hate, empathy, and anger with our words.

Humans love distinction, categories and organization. Language gives us the ability to make things simple through categorization. Good or bad, without language society simply would not be where it is today. Forget about technology, complex education, and politics without the great key.

It is honestly pretty funny that with all its complexity and helpfulness, language is made up. Words are not real. English rhetorician Ivor Armstrong Richards believed that words are symbols and those symbols are arbitrary. After all, there is nothing inherently “chairy” about the word “chair”.

Many words have different meanings when contextualized in certain situations. To Richards, ambiguity is an unstoppable factor in language.

Richards developed the semantic triangle of meaning. The three components include a symbol, a referent and a thought. The uttering of a symbol, or word, makes you think about…

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