ESPERANTO AND LANGUAGE
Posted by rezinate on May 14, 2013
Political chaos is connected with the decay of language….one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. George Orwell
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
I’ve arrived at an opinion that is something I probably knew or suspected as a child, and that is that among the world’s major languages the English language more than any other extant or extinct lends itself to manipulation.
An evolution into a vehicle of fine print and manipulation- a commonality shared by the world’s major languages but more so by English I believe.
I expect there would be a lot of people who would take issue with that but all that is needed is to pause for a moment and listen to the verbal gyrations that emanate from the English language- the fine print that always hangs in the air-all of it taken to the extreme, all of it in triplicate.
Ever try to read a contract or a legal document? Ever see the size of legislation that is passed, the hundred of pages that “explain” it all?
I don’t believe this is a secret, some have attempted to address it in the past, like L.L. Zamenhof who proposed a simplistic universal language that became known as Esperanto.
Of course no one wants to surrender their birth language and they shouldn’t-but if a second language can be taught in schools like French or Spanish why not Esperanto?
If it were universally taught a person could go anywhere and communicate freely.
In being a simple language it could become the “official” language of governments and corporations that would lead to an unprecedented transparency-it would in point of fact level the playing field, promote understanding and input, and increase the difficulty of the aforementioned when they’re trying to snow people.
Probably for those very reasons neither it nor any other will ever be truly universal.
There seems to be general agreement that the English languages contains more words than any other, due in part that it is a derivative language whose origins can be found in several others-also that it readily incorporates words from other languages.
This could lead one to say it is perhaps the most expressive, but one could also say it lends itself to deception and redundancy.
More than anything else language as it is spoken should be defined by the person speaking it, the context and the intent.
In the final analysis for me it is the language as Black Hawk said that can make right look like wrong, and wrong look like right more than other I am familiar with. But I’m not a linguist and could be wrong about that.
I’ve heard it said that lying is a learned behavior-I’ m not so sure about that as it seems to come naturally to some people-though it could certainly be acquired by children if that is the example set for them.
I think in some ways it is a part of that fight or flight thing-some flee employing lies and others stand their ground in speaking the truth.
Ultimately it is about speaking the truth-for those who don’t the language they speak is secondary. And those who do honor themselves and their language.
I have a tendency to write backhand-caught a lot of grief for that in school, but it dawned on me as I grew a little older that the purpose of writing as in speaking was to communicate, and if a persons penmanship is legible and honest the slant it takes is irrelevant.
But I was out of school at an early age and never heard another complaint about it, so I claim a victory in that small as it may be.
In the end the spoken word should be as legible and honest as the written one.
The history of language has been one of an evolutionary process, necessary and understandable.
As knowledge increased so did the necessity to create new words to express it- vehicles to convey, teach, share emotions and ideas.
What seems to have happened is that this ‘necessity’ has evolved to a point where it has become “necessary’ to employ language to “misspeak”, to manipulate rather than facilitate, to mislead or gain an “edge”.
People can and do lie and manipulate in all languages-some languages however facilitate the ability to do so and it becomes more the norm than the exception.
Doubt that? Spend a few moments reading something so common as commercial advertisements-if that isn’t enough read a contract, or tune in CSPAN.
Space, the oceans, and the Poles, are often spoken of as being frontiers- I submit language is also a frontier, constantly evolving and undergoing a global warming of it’s own that is no less erosive and altering the landscape.
Indigenous languages are being lost at an alarming rate-routinely said to be threatened, for those whose birth language is English or any of the major languages they should ask themselves if their language is being lost through corrupting usage and influences.