Sunday, September 22, 2019

Language is a loaded weapon Essay Example for Free

Language is a loaded weapon Essay Language is that knowledge held by native speakers which, combined with the use of expressive faculties, enables them to communicate in spoken and written forms. Language is creative it can create ambience i. e. harmony, strife and war depending on how we use it, and the intentions of the user. Man is a complex being each individual made so by unique common experiences, which colour not only our reception/perception and interpretation of data but also influence our delivery. The way people deliver a message can alter the way we think, our understanding, perception, or approach. Language can be used honestly or dishonestly. To convey truth or to pervert truth, to persuade, to convince, to control, to unite, disunite, to make something clear or to mystify. Language is the tool we use to communicate. Its not just words it includes N. V. C (Non Verbal Communication, signals that we give out in the way we stand and move our body). Some interpretation of language is done at a subconscious level, instinctively. When interpreting the encoders message we consider his/her motivation. What are they trying to achieve? i. e. The way in which someone is listening or watching can indicate to you whether or not they are interested, disliking or are bored with what you are saying. You notice this on a subconscious almost subliminal level. If you are the encoder you adjust the way in which you speak so as the receiver decodes your message properly and doesnt misunderstand what you have said. For example if you shout at someone they may get the impression you are angry with them, however you may have raised your voice to ensure they can hear you. To decode successfully many other aspects have to be considered about the encoders background, culture, belief system etc, over and above their motivation. Tone, pitch, volume, intonation, speed, hesitation, accent, emotion, even hormones, all affect both delivery and reception. Hence language is not a neutral tool; it is inadvertently biased in thousands of ways. All mankind is guilty of this fault. A clear example of this is propaganda, mass media, political persuasion, even the way history is written. For example in The Mirror after the September 11th incident, they produced a front page with the heading My son the hijacker. The way this title is worded makes you sympathise with the Mother, and shows us that the hijackers where not just people that had nothing to live for and no family, but people that had families. The subheading to this title was I did not bring up my son to hate he was a good, kind, young man not an evil killer. This brings reality to the fact that you think you know who and what type of person your son/daughter is, but then a tragic thing like this happens and you find out that perhaps you dont really know who and what your child is really like. Another example that language is a loaded weapon is in The Suns October 4th paper, on page 11 there was a heading Scouts leader let boy, 10, die on mountain. Your first reactions and emotions to this title are anger, hatred and spite towards the scout leader for letting a 10-year old boy die on a mountain. You then read on, to find out that the leader left the boy unsupervised at the rear of the group as they descended Mount Snowdon. This headline favours the boy, where as if the paper were writing in the favour of the leader you would perhaps have a heading more along the lines of A young boy strayed on the descent of mount Snowdon, slipped and fell 500ft to his death. This is an excellent example to show that Language is a loaded weapon this shows us that by simply changing the way in which this title is worded, creates a whole different perspective to the article. It can persuade you to feel sorry for the family of the boy and hatred towards the scout leader or to show consideration to the leader that the boy may have strayed from the path himself, slipped and fallen. Therefore language can be used to manipulate what you feel and in some ways is used to control you. Newspapers tell you what they think you should know not what you would like to know. An example of this was in the Daily Mirror 13th January 1996 page 7. A heading and its article entitled Gulp! took up nearly the whole of the page compared with a little box in the left hand corner which had the heading Girls-raped by gang of 14. When a few years later a similar thing happens to a boy this gets front-page news with the title of A gay gang rapes boy, 19 from The Sun. The way these articles have been positioned and the amount they have had written on them manipulates what the mass media wants us to know. The way the second article is written shows us that the media try to control what we think. The heading itself creates a lot of emotions even though his age is given as nineteen, the word boy is what immediately grabs your attention and causes your imagination to see a small child rather than a young man. Therefore taking in to consideration all these examples you find that language is not only a loaded weapon but is also one thousand ways biased. It can be used to manipulate what we think and what we think we know. We are told what to think and not asked to think about what we are told.

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