Language as a Way of Knowing Multi-Task

2.“Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is thus the key to understanding man” – Thomas Szasz

I totally agree with this statement. The only way we can understand people, understand why they do things is if we can speak to them by use of language. We can only get so much from watching others actions, but is that really understanding them? Watching what they do, but not truly understanding why? I don’t think we should judge people by their actions, even if they seem bad. Because without knowing their logic behind it or what the person who are doing those actions is thinking, we can create false accusations or opinions on this person who could actually be a good person.

3. ARTS: In what ways can the arts be considered the language of human emotions?

Art is definitely is the language of human emotions, its what emotions look like to people. However, only some people can really depict these emotions correctly. Art I think is itself a language, but only some people understand it. It is a language that can not be taught, something that you are born with; you either know it or you don’t. Everyone can understand and feel emotions, but only some people can draw them.

In my video, you can definitely see the passion and the emotion that these artists have and incorporate in their pieces  Most artists understand what the artist is trying to say through the visual language the piece gives off. However people who don’t understand art language would just see these pieces as graffiti rather than art.

4. Blog Questions:

1.) How much could you know about the world if you had no language or means of communicating with other people?

If there was no language or means of communicating with other people we would only know our experiences in our world. Which isn’t a whole lot of knowledge about the world compared to how much we are able to gain thorough communicating with other people and getting to know their experiences and points of view.

2.)What are some examples of words that have entered the English language as a result of the computer revolution?

There are plenty of words that have been entered into the English language as a result of the computer revolution. Most of them are derived from what shortened words people use when texting or computer chatting and popular slang (look at all the new words in the link on ‘words’ to see what i’m talking about).

3.) Try to define as precisely as possible these words: a. triangle    b. love     c. table  What is the difference? Which was easiest to define?

A triangle is three sides connecting with each other which create a shape. Love is when a person really likes something. A table is a piece of  rectangular wood with traditionally four legs.  Love is a feeling, it is not a physical thing. While a table is a physical object and a triangle is neither. The easiest to define is a table because a triangle isn’t an actual object so its hard to define and love is really hard to define because it is an emotion that can mean many different things.

4.) How would you try to explain to a blind person what the word RED means? What does this suggest to you about the limitations of definitions?

I wouldn’t because even if I did they wouldn’t understand it. You can’t describe a color without using the words dark and light. Even if a blind person was able to understand what dark and light looked like, that’s probably the only words you could use to describe a color. A color can’t really be described. There are many limitations of definitions. Some things aren’t able to be understood unless they are seen. There are only so many words, thus only so many things can be accurately described.

5.) To what extent is your use of languages accompanied by images? Does every word conjure up an image or only some of them?

I think certain words in a language are accompanied by images. For example, the word “moist”. When people used adjectives and nouns we tend to visualize an image of what they’re saying. But it depends some people visualize more than others.

6.) Do you think a robot (or Siri) could use and respond appropriately to language? What differences would it make in real life if that were the case?

I think it would be really helpful if Siri could act as a translator, so that the user and another person could communicate to each other. It would make plenty of differences, aiding people visiting foreign countries to be able to communicate with others. However it could also cause many people not  to study foreign language because they would just easily use Siri, which could cause a language to be destroyed. For example, in Taiwan people speak Taiwanese and Mandarin. However only older people speak Taiwanese, so it is slowly dying off. If people choose to communicate using Siri the desire to learn Taiwanese to communicate with the elderly would be even lower. Causing this language to die off.

5. COMMENT with your own personal thoughts or questions on the 4 VIDEOS found on this blog post.


Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography- In this video, Stephen explains how people these days are now more interested in learning about things in the arts than about words. This is because of our culture. In our culture, learning how to play a musical instrument, draw and paint or dance is something that we embrace because we view it as interesting and as talent. Knowing about words, something that is related to school, is something that we sometimes look down upon. People who know a lot about words are usually referred to as ‘nerds’. So because most people want to conform with society and want and enjoy expressing their creativity they choose to do extra curricular activities.

Stephen Fry Interview- In this video, Stephen describes how language separates humans from the rest of the world. While looking at a monkey Stephen says, “so closely related, but so different. And I think it is language that’s the thing that is most different about us.” Although language has helped us become so much more “developed” compared to other organisms it also has created some negative effects. Global warming, extinction of other organisms and deforestation are just a few things that humans have done to hurt our planet. Humans are the cause of this awful thing upon us, because we have been able to communicate thus allowing us to expand very rapidly. Where as other organisms aren’t able to communicate, but don’t damage our home.

Stephen Fry discussing swear words- Even though this was very short, it was the most interesting video! Stephen actually pointed out something that was very intriguing that was so obvious, but I had never thought about before. In the video, Stephen said that people are looked down upon when they use the f word, even though it is a ‘good word’ because it means to make love which is supposed to be a good thing, but no one even notices when people use words like torture, which is a very bad word. I thought this was very insightful and interesting.

The Birth of a Word- In this video, Deb Roy talks about how humans learn words. By recording thousands of hours of home videos, he was able to show a recording of his son’s transition of saying Gaga to Water. I thought this was really weird. Its such a hassle to install all these different cameras in every room in your house and its not even worth it. I mean honestly, when is this guy Deb actually gonna have time to sit down and watch his thousands of hours of  home videos?


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