Thursday, March 8, 2007

Living Organisms

This is a response I received from my good friend Kazuyo Karan; I'd invited her to read Takashi's post on skies and all the comments it received. Here is what she said:

Thank you for sharing the discussion. Very interesting. I enjoyed reading it.

I remember that taking linguistics classes was eye-opening for me, especially the ones in historical, anthropological, and psychological contexts. I couldn't remember a thing, but the History of the English Language class was very interesting. Your students might be interested in looking up the etymologies of the articles "a" and "the." I did a paper on "weirdo." So much to discover in one little word.

After all is said and done, we may realize that languages are living organisms. We can smother, kill, conquer, or cultivate them. And we may also learn that the standards, rules, and regulations are contrived for the purpose of gatekeeping and maintaining the status quo, just like other authoritative schemes.

Thank you for sharing interesting thoughts.

2 comments:

Jill said...

Yes, I agree that language is often used for "gatekeeping and maintaining the status quo," which is why I think it is so important to consider not only how we copyedit, but what we choose to copyedit.

Ritchie Mae said...

I never thought that language could be both complicated and beautiful. I hope that doesn't make me a masochist.