CHAPTER ELEVEN Second Thoughts ,  4 th   ed. Wanda Teays McGraw-Hill Higher Ed © 2010. Wanda Teays. All rights reserved. O...
Key Uses of Language <ul><li>Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>How we refer to people can be very significant. Values, societ...
Importance of Context <ul><li>The  definition  of a concept may differ from the way a concept is  used .  </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>Culturally Defined </li></ul><ul><li>Uses of Language </li></ul><ul><li>Our society and culture shape our use of l...
<ul><li>HEDGING </li></ul><ul><li>Hedging undercuts or raises doubts  about a claim.  </li></ul><ul><li>Hedging can take t...
<ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Fallacies of Ambiguity: Linguistic Fallacies </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguity  is a lack of clarity...
<ul><li>Jargon, Buzzwords, and Technical Terms </li></ul><ul><li>Buzzwords  are newly coined terms or old words used in ne...
Analogies <ul><li>An  analogy  is a comparison between two things in which, on the basis of certain similarities,  a princ...
<ul><li>The Passive Voice </li></ul><ul><li>We use the  passive voice when we make the object of an action into the subjec...
Propaganda <ul><li>With  propaganda , words are used to shape public consciousness, to predispose people to certain ideas,...
According to Singer… <ul><li>Propaganda  centers on the political persuasion of a mass of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Though...
Propaganda Tricks* <ul><li>Name Calling  The use of invectives and emotionally-  colored words to denigrate another or rei...
<ul><li>Exclusive Language  </li></ul><ul><li>& Hate Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive language  posits one group (race, ...
The Transformative Power of Language <ul><li>Language can degrade, as we have seen.  </li></ul><ul><li>But language can al...
The Liberatory Voice <ul><li>The  liberatory voice  is language at its most inspirational—a call to social action, politic...
Language Matters <ul><li>Think about some of the ways language has been used to transform society— Martin Luther King’s  “...
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  1. 1. CHAPTER ELEVEN Second Thoughts , 4 th ed. Wanda Teays McGraw-Hill Higher Ed © 2010. Wanda Teays. All rights reserved. Out of the Silence The Power of Language
  2. 2. Key Uses of Language <ul><li>Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>How we refer to people can be very significant. Values, societal stereotypes, and attitudes can shape the description . </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptions conjure up images Compare: ‘slender” vs. ‘skinny’ vs. ‘bean pole’). </li></ul><ul><li>ASYMMETRICAL DESCRIPTIONS: When members of one group are described in ways we wouldn’t see given to those in a different group. An asymmetry usually indicates a double standard. </li></ul><ul><li>Denotations & Connotations </li></ul><ul><li>DENOTATION : The literal meaning of a word or phrase (as in the dictionary definition of the term). </li></ul><ul><li>CONNOTATION: The set of associations and values attached to the word in question </li></ul>
  3. 3. Importance of Context <ul><li>The definition of a concept may differ from the way a concept is used . </li></ul><ul><li>We employ terms and concepts in a social context; where values and cultural beliefs color the use and interpretation of a word. </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable uses of language vary according to the context (e.g., living rooms, restaurants, classrooms, workplaces). </li></ul><ul><li>Cartoon used with permission of Nik Scott. Terms can have quite different meanings according to the context in which they appear. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Culturally Defined </li></ul><ul><li>Uses of Language </li></ul><ul><li>Our society and culture shape our use of language. </li></ul><ul><li>e .g., with norms around who can say what to whom, who can speak and in what order, and who gets the first and last word. </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES: (1) apologies (when, who makes it, consequences) (2) bilingualism—where language reflects political allegiances. </li></ul><ul><li>Power politics gets played out as much around language as other issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Euphemisms </li></ul><ul><li>Dfn. A EUPHEMISM acts as a substitute for the targeted word, in order to achieve a particular end. </li></ul><ul><li>Some are innocent—others aren’t. </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Powder my nose” “pre-owned car” “outsource” jobs “puttingShepto sleep” “friendly fire” “collateral damage” “selective reduction” </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>HEDGING </li></ul><ul><li>Hedging undercuts or raises doubts about a claim. </li></ul><ul><li>Hedging can take two forms: (1) shifting from one position to a much weaker one (2) undercutting a claim (e.g., through a negative connotation of a word or phrase) </li></ul><ul><li>Labels and Categories </li></ul><ul><li>Labels and categories aren’t necessarily harmful . (e.g., ‘spud-islanders’ is term used by Prince Edward Islanders to refer to themselves). </li></ul><ul><li>What sounds neutral, may seem derogatory to the one being labeled. </li></ul><ul><li>Labeling is not the same as name-calling. Not all labeling of people is experienced as demeaning by the one so-named. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Fallacies of Ambiguity: Linguistic Fallacies </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguity is a lack of clarity in the use of language, that may lead to an incorrect conclusion being drawn. </li></ul><ul><li>Three key linguistic fallacies : </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Equivocation (where there's a shift of meaning in a word or phrase leading to an incorrect conclusion), </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Accent (where the emphasis of a word or phrase leads us to an incorrect conclusion) a </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Amphibol y (where the sentence structure or use of grammar creates an ambiguity, leading to an incorrect conclusion). </li></ul><ul><li>Components of a Definition </li></ul><ul><li>DEFINIENDUM: The word or phrase to define or clarify. </li></ul><ul><li>DEFINIENS: The explanation of the word or phrase. </li></ul><ul><li>SYNONYMS: words that are similar in meaning (e.g., warm and toasty), </li></ul><ul><li>ANTONYMS: words that are opposite in meaning (e.g., hot and cold). </li></ul><ul><li>Questions of syntax have to do with punctuation, grammar, or sentence structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions of semantics have to do with meanings of words, what they signify. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Jargon, Buzzwords, and Technical Terms </li></ul><ul><li>Buzzwords are newly coined terms or old words used in new contexts for an intended effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Jargon is the terminology of a particular group or profession or technical terminology coined for a specific purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal and technical terms are often used quite specifically, so don’t assume they have an ordinary usage. </li></ul><ul><li>The interpretation of a legal concept can shape laws and policies. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Metaphors and Images </li></ul><ul><li>A metaphor is the application of a word or phrase to draw a comparison or indicate a similarity (e.g., “she is a shrew and he’s a snake”). </li></ul><ul><li>People often turn to metaphors to bring visions to life—and can shape an interpretation. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Analogies <ul><li>An analogy is a comparison between two things in which, on the basis of certain similarities, a principle or characteristic of the one term is then applied to the other term and asserted as true in that case as well. </li></ul><ul><li>The form of an analogy is : A is like B in terms of p, q, r. A also has characteristic “z.” So, B has characteristic “z” also. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Passive Voice </li></ul><ul><li>We use the passive voice when we make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>FOR EXAMPLE : “The chicken was eaten by the coyote.” </li></ul><ul><li>This avoids calling attention to the one performing an action (the coyote). Rather, its focus is upon the recipient of the action (the chicken). </li></ul><ul><li>Loaded Language </li></ul><ul><li>Loaded language is language that is value-laden, heavy with connotation (positive or negative). </li></ul><ul><li>Here words are used to stack the deck, expressing an attitude or set of beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Since this can create a bias, be on the lookout for loaded language! </li></ul><ul><li>Hate speech is one of the more extreme forms of loaded language </li></ul>
  10. 10. Propaganda <ul><li>With propaganda , words are used to shape public consciousness, to predispose people to certain ideas, policies and actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda can manipulate them to think, vote, and act in ways in sync with the propaganda machine. </li></ul><ul><li>Margaret Thaler Singer sees propaganda along a continuum: </li></ul>Education—Advertising— Propaganda —Indoctrination—Thought reform
  11. 11. According to Singer… <ul><li>Propaganda centers on the political persuasion of a mass of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Thought reform centers on changing people without their knowledge— so they can be manipulated and controlled. </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda has a manipulative, controlling element as well, but involves persuasion . </li></ul>
  12. 12. Propaganda Tricks* <ul><li>Name Calling The use of invectives and emotionally- colored words to denigrate another or reinforce biases and prejudice. </li></ul><ul><li>Glittering Generalities The use of “purr words” appealing to truth, freedom, honor, progress, to a sense of justice, pride hope, courage and the like—without ever being specific. </li></ul><ul><li>Tabloid Thinking The use of hasty generalization (fallacy) to settle a dispute or an argument. </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonials The use of some “authority” (public figure or organization) to sell an idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Bifurcation The use of a simple “either/or” when actually there exist more alternatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Association The use of links drawn between an idea presented and some object, person, party, or cause that people respect or cherish—or which they fear or condemn. </li></ul><ul><li>Identification The propagandist identifies with those being addressed—becoming “one of the gang”—to win confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Card Stacking The use of distortion, exaggeration, forgery, deception, and misinformation to sell an idea—it is one of the most vicious tricks that can be used. </li></ul><ul><li>* These tricks are indebted to W.H. Werkmeister, who set out key categories. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Exclusive Language </li></ul><ul><li>& Hate Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive language posits one group (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as superior and another group or groups as inferior, lesser. </li></ul><ul><li>Hatespeech is a particular kind of loaded language. Here, words are weapons. </li></ul><ul><li>Hate speech can be used to insult or demean a person or group because of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, age, or disability. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Humor, Parody and Satire </li></ul><ul><li>Humor can help jolt us out of our habitual ways of thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Comedy is a powerful vehicle for social commentary. </li></ul><ul><li>A satire is a work that ridicules or pokes fun at its subject (people, groups, institutions, countries, etc.) in order to bring about a particular effect, such as social change. </li></ul><ul><li>One important function of humor is to give us some perspective </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Transformative Power of Language <ul><li>Language can degrade, as we have seen. </li></ul><ul><li>But language can also exalt. As William Raspberry says, </li></ul><ul><li>“ And, yes, words matter. They may reflect reality, but they also have the power to change reality— the power to uplift and to abase.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Liberatory Voice <ul><li>The liberatory voice is language at its most inspirational—a call to social action, political transformation, spiritual healing, or realizing our common humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>The liberatory aspect of language moves us to organize, effect political change, address the ills of society, take one small step to make our voices heard, and inject reason in the face of madness and goodness in the face of evil. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Language Matters <ul><li>Think about some of the ways language has been used to transform society— Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech ,” Barack Obama’s “ Yes we can, ” Abe Lincoln’s “ Gettysburg Address ,” and Sojourner Truth’s speech on equal rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Through language, we can touch others’ lives, rally people to work for change, and inspire one another. </li></ul>

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