In chapter 6 of Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads I quote professor Neil Postman as saying, “What we think of as ‘reasoning’ is determined by the character of our language. To reason in Japanese is not the same thing as to reason in English or Italian or German. To put it simply, language has an ideological agenda that is likely to be hidden from view.” This month’s Scientific American (p. 46) suggests that Postman wasn’t the first person to come to that conclusion. Half a century ago Benjamin L. Whorf said, “we dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages.”
What they’re both saying is that our worldviews are heavily influenced by the structure of the language we speak. I agree, but I believe there are exceptions to … continue reading.
Editor’s note: This installment of Roy H. Williams’ weekly memo contains a few of his breadcrumb links. I call them this because if you follow them, they will lead you deeper into the rabbit hole. Follow your intuition.