(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Language Does More Than Describe

And so, it is imperative in these times to remain self-reflective. Now more than ever, we must be vigilant about the language we use. For the language we use does more than just describe–it actively produces identities; and it is these very political separations that perpetuate violence.

Tyler M. Curley, “Othering Violence, Othering People,” Hippo Reads

This on the performativity of language. Note,

“By political, I mean a process that separates, divides, and partitions humanity into different groups–self/other, victim/perpetrator, civilized/barbarian, freedom fighter/terrorist.”

The point that language is not neutral is an important one to grasp. Language, even if it does not effect reality, effects thought. All the more reason to be, as Curley suggests, self-reflective; all the more reason to remain suspicious of communication.


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This entry was posted on March 31, 2016 by and tagged , , .


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