(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Tag Archives: language

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 … Continue reading

March 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

Analysis of a Sentence of Saramago

Languages are conservative, they always carry their archives with them and hate having to be updated. José Saramago, Seeing (2006) Notes: The aphorism takes a subordinate, dual-part form: equivalent statement (A … Continue reading

March 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

Is This Pasta Really Authentic?

All images are ‘polysemous’–they can be read in a number of ways. … The text [accompanying an image, say in an ad,] directs the reader as to which meanings of … Continue reading

February 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Passive Voice: Diffusing Responsibility

Hotels–hushed–have a problem with the active voice. The passive evades clock time and diffuses responsibility (not ‘We’re serving your dinner at eight,’ but ‘Dinner is served.’). To stay in a … Continue reading

January 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

allthingslinguistic: Three things that I like about this tweet, linguistically:  1. It syntactically integrates the emoji into the sentence into what is, indeed, an adjectival position. This is (currently) a … Continue reading

October 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

Discourse as Play vs. Discourse as Game

Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise … Continue reading

July 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

How Stereotyping Works

Cameron explains that [the construction of gendered language ideologies] happens because of the tendency of all people to rely at least in part on stereotyping when processing information. It is … Continue reading

July 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Language Influences Cognition

I had not only learned to speak a language: I had started to think in it. Its questions became my questions, its concepts shaped my responses to new ideas. Its … Continue reading

July 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

Language Beyond Referentiality

To say that words are indexically related to some ‘object’ or aspect of the world out there means to recognize that words carry with them a power that goes beyond … Continue reading

July 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

Language Is Perception

Language is not a handmaiden to perception; it is perception; it gives shape to what would otherwise be inert and dead. Stanley Fish, How to Write a Sentence: and How … Continue reading

July 25, 2015 · Leave a comment