The Impact of Words

2 years, 6 months ago

So recently I had this notion, that our perception is influenced so much by language. Because our thoughts are manifested in words, they are at the same time constricted by them – we could use the same adjective to describe many different things.
Since our thoughts play such a big part in how we see the world, It was just a bit fascinating how much impact the existence of words has to us, and I wonder how people think who don’t know any language. Thoughts?

August 22, 2012 at 1:46 am

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Profile photo of Jake Jake (@buddha) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

You should look up Humboldt, he was big on the whole linguistic relativity notion.

Profile photo of Nick Nick (@nickc2007) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

Robert Anton Wilson is your man.

Profile photo of Sasho Stoyanov Anonymous (@) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

“Om nom nom” – I’m having a good time enjoying my meal. It has a great impact on people while observing how someone eats.

“Afafafaf” – If I also start talking with my mouth full, maybe we’ll understand each other!

Emotions. Word’s effects are tied to the emotion attached to them. It’s trickier on the Internet.

Profile photo of Chang Chang (@kchen) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

Thanks for all the great links.
The Linguistic relativity hypothesis hit my thought on the spot. Our thoughts are made up of words and our perception is bound or even limited to our thoughts, so a french thinker might experience life differently than a german speaker, for example. Very interesting stuff!

Also thinking that words are so inaccurate – for anything we think we have to decide which words fit best – we hear a loud sound and we categorize it, label it with a word – noisy, boisterous etc.

I really wonder if a person who has never been in contact with language before, and who hasn’t developed language by himself, would have a truer and purer way of thinking, not being constricted to words.

Profile photo of Sasho Stoyanov Anonymous (@) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

@kchen, Most probably yes, they would have purer way of thinking, we’re basically brainwashed since birth to associate things only in language. It won’t be a civilized way to communicate though, it would be driven mostly by instincts, now we just recognize them better when we “know” what our instincts mean. I am pretty sure that if you grow up like an animal without language or civilized human contact, you’ll be no different than a savage and doing things only to survive. The interesting thing is that in our world we only embrace instincts that are love-related. Everything else that might involve anger, which is a natural reaction is considered a disorder – and that fucks up people and it has a great impact on their lives. Lies. Bullshit. Words feed beliefs.

Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 2 years, 6 months ago ago

Currently reading Money- Martin Amis. Considering he’s Classes as one of the best authors of our time, his writing is crude. But it’s fascinating.

I particularly like and yet abhor the line: ‘she’s probably brushing her teeth with his cock’

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