2020: As our contribution to the celebration of International Mother Language
Day, we are pleased to announce the release of the 23rd edition of Ethnologue
on this day.
Language is always in a
state of flux.
Common usage of words shows adaptation. Over time
"Man is a being who lives in society therefore a
language is required which makes it possible to be always
passing from what is known to what is yet to be known.
be a language whose symbols - which cannot be infinite in number - are
extensible to an infinity of
This tendency of the symbol to transfer itself from one
object to another is characteristic of human language." - Henri
"We have cautioned against believing all adaptations to be
perfect, or all traits to be optimal, as human mental abilities are the results
of adaptation to primitive circumstances.
The enormous periods of time
during which our ancestors were foragers and hunter-gatherers are likely to
have been formative for our species.
To regard each
human mind as a blank
slate that is informed by learning only
after its birth has been found
inadequate to explain the
development of human
Genetic pre-programming by
natural selection endows us with
Those in possession of such abilities, even in a more
primitive form, had a clear survival
advantage over those that did not: linguistic ability is adaptive." -
Corruption of original conceptual language images
inevitably occurs because of the adaption, modification and evolution of
Many times a language gains richness and depth as it
Other times a
language is entirely changed, the word symbols morph, as is the case when
introduced in 1984.
"The slovenliness of language makes it easier for us to have
objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote,
constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate - dress up a simple
statement and give an air of
to biased judgements.
Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic,
unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used
to dignify the sordid process of international politics.
aims at glorifying war usually takes on
an archaic color, its characteristic words being: realm,
throne chariot, mailed
fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler,
banner, jackboot, clarion.
Foreign words and expressions such as cul
de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina,
mutatis mutandis, status
quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are
used to give an air of culture and
Bad writers, and
sociological writers, are
nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than
Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite,
subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their
Meaningless magical words abound
is normal to come across long passages completely lacking in
word fascism has now no
meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."
justice have each of them several
different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising
it: consequently the defenders
of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy.
Words of this
kind are often used in a
consciously dishonest way.
That is, the person who uses them has
his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something
Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true
patriot; the Soviet press is the freest on Earth;
the Catholic Church is opposed
to persecution, are almost always
made with intent to
Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more
or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian,
Orthodoxy, of whatever color,
seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style.
The great enemy of clear
language is insincerity.
When there is a gap between one's real and
one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and
exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish
spurting out ink.
In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics."
issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions,
folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.
One ought to recognize that the present political
chaos is connected with the decay
of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by
starting at the verbal end.
Political language - and with variations
this is true of all political parties, from
to Anarchists - is
designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an
appearance of solidity to pure wind.
One cannot change this
all in a moment, but one
can at least change one's own
habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough,
send some worn-out and useless phrase - some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed,
veritable inferno, or
other lump of verbal
refuse - into the dustbin, where it belongs." -
"Our daily language, and, in most cases, our
so-called scientific language together with its logic, originated mostly in a
pre-scientific epoch and are largely elementalistic and absolutistic; which
must hamper successful reasoning and
solutions." - Alfred Korzybski
In the beginning
there were no words only representational sounds.
Grunts, groans and
moans of the human animal.
Original Language is locked deep inside each
of us, ready to reemerge whenever we shed the inhibitions of our social
of passionate sexual abandon are nothing other than the Original Language
utterances are vectors of a communication far more honest and intimate than any
experiences elicit utterances of the Original Language - spontaneous
vocalizations of ecstasy, lamentation,
fear, rage, and
the cooing noises we used at infants to
placate the giants.
Surviving exclamations create primal
reverberations in the body and psyche - "Tada!" "Yahoo!" "Wow!" "Amen!" "Ahh" "Oooh" "Yippee-ki-yay!" - words in
which the sound is the meaning.
Sanskrit words and phrases often have
an emotional resonance.
Words like "Om," "Ah," "Ram" and others are considered
not to denote or represent the Divine, but to
actually be aspects of the
In Native American languages a mysterious identity between
sound and meaning exists.
Names and nouns are an intrinsic and
inseparable aspect of the being named: to name a
Being, or any aspect or function of Creation, actualizes that Reality.
Chinese culture has strong taboos against speaking aloud dark
possibilities, lest it bring them into
America, we still knock on wood.
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media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction of the
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the bulk of the population has been directed toward solutions proposed by the
corrupt international elite that further consolidates their power and which
further their purposes.
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