language

Howard Lake | Flickr | www.emergencydentistsusa.com/speak-up/

There is one thing that each of us is more familiar with than anyone else in the world, and that is our own language and the way we speak. Most of us are accustomed to using different language when talking to parents, children, spouses and partners, co-workers, friends, etc. How do we know when to switch gears? When we hear a new word, how do we know when we should incorporate it? Or do we reject it? How do all these different streams come together in a population, and what drives changes in language as time goes on?  

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Friday Feedback for June 16, 2017

Jun 16, 2017
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Listener Wayne wrote: “Decline of American societal values is led, in part, by the trend-setting broadcast of vulgar language by the media. My long and appreciative listening to WHQR finds that it is a media outlet which does maintain a good level of broadcast quality. Yet from time to time a little cuss word manages to find its way onto WHQR's airwaves. . . a case in point is the recent announcement of some material to be aired entitled "Getting Paid to Be a Smart <expletive deleted>." . . it appears to me that our WHQR is in a position to assist in reversing the use of this improper language. . . I appeal to WHQR to exert a little more positive influence over the vocabulary used by its own staff and local contributors.

Language is widely considered to be as much a function of gender as any other gender expression – whether clothing, gender-normative interests such as interior decorating, or personality traits.  But is language so different between the sexes?