Language is a Virus: SARs-CoV-2 and the Science of Political Control

"Language consists of language games that reflect
forms of living
." - Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

links between sound and meaning

23rd edition Ethnologue

February 21, 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.

Evidence rebuts Chomsky's
Theory of Language Learning

How language shapes the way we think

The Lies of Language: Tricked by the Light

Brain adapts after rare dementia attacks language center

Sounds Humans Use to Communicate Without Words

"While we are generally only conscious of messages that are delivered linearly via some specific linguistic pattern, our nervous system also absorbs messages of associational or juxtapositional natures." - Edward Wilson & Wes Unruh

Language is always in a state of flux.

Common usage of words shows adaptation. Over time definitions evolve.

"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.

There must be a language whose symbols - which cannot be infinite in number - are extensible to an infinity of things.

This tendency of the symbol to transfer itself from one object to another is characteristic of human language." - Henri Bergson

"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 woefully inadequate to explain the development of human language.

Genetic pre-programming by natural selection endows us with human linguistic abilities.

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." - John D. Barrow

Corruption of original conceptual language images inevitably occurs because of the adaption, modification and evolution of terminology.

Many times a language gains richness and depth as it evolves.

Other times a language is entirely changed, the word symbols morph, as is the case when doublespeak was introduced in 1984.

music of the spheres

Speaking in Whistles:
The Whistled Language of Oaxaca, Mexico

Birds use language like humans, joining calls together to form sentences


Aladdin's Lamp

"Language has creative force. Words are not merely symbols that point to things; they call forth the reality and power of that being mentioned."

Joseph Epes Brown

Reality Reviewed

"The slovenliness of language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

Words - objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate - dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality 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.

Writing that 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 elegance.

Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, 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, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers.

Meaningless magical words abound - supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

It is normal to come across long passages completely lacking in meaning.

The word fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."

The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, reality, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.

It is 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 quite different.

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 deceive.

Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

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."

All 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 Conservatives 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, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse - into the dustbin, where it belongs." - George Orwell

language tree

Evolution of Language

New languages re-wire brains of all ages

Finding 'lost' languages in the brain:
Implications for subconscious role of infant experiences

Our efficient brains may explain language 'universals'

"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 culture.

The vocalizations of passionate sexual abandon are nothing other than the Original Language remembered.

These utterances are vectors of a communication far more honest and intimate than any semantic exchange.

Intensely emotional experiences elicit utterances of the Original Language - spontaneous vocalizations of ecstasy, lamentation, glee, fear, rage, and joy 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 Divine.

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 Reality.

In America, we still knock on wood.

flesh color

Kids' gestures show an instinct for language

How reading to babies turns babble into language

Musical rhythm helps babies find patterns in speech

unique library index

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