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“How Language Shapes the Way We Think” by Boroditsky Essay

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Updated: Jun 24th, 2022

Introduction

Different people have diverse ways of thinking. They react and act upon particular situations differently. Various aspects affect their thoughts and actions causing variances in the way people think. This article shows and tries to explain the variance in people’s thinking due to linguistic diversity. The author argues that words are not just used to label objects, but also represent a tool that enables one to perceive, suggesting that people who speak different dialects perceive the world differently. Some parlance emphasizes details, while others do not attach much importance to it. It explains that people of a particular vernacular may do well in a specific field and be less successful in another in comparison with a person who speaks a different dialect.

Main body

The article is in line with what I learned in several aspects for example, when it comes to the numbers, they indicate that a language that emphasizes the numeric format makes one’s mind oriented to the same and can easily do calculations. This is not the case with people whose numeric lingo is not as transparent. Another aspect in the article relating to the effect of idiolect of the mind is the linguistic distinction of the visual world, such as colors. Some have several generalized colors for one word, while others have specific names for each particular shade of color. These particular people tend to notice the slightest difference in colors. The language spoken also explains why different people are oriented to other things (Boroditsky 317). For example, some dialects pay attention to cardinal points. For such lingo speakers, their minds can easily detect the direction, unlike those whose dialect does not emphasize directions.

The questions concerning the chosen topic are as follows:

  • What are the linguistic factors that influence one’s way of thinking, and in what ways can one train the mind towards a specific aspect of the language he speaks?
  • Does the spoken dialect shape the person’s mind? Why do people with a similar mother tongue still talk the same? What brings the variance?

The author asked whether a society could influence the thoughts of the people in it. This is possible through controlling the dialect being spoken. This is because people are more oriented to what they say and are likely to lead a path that their tongue favors. The language has emphasized that it is expected to be highly imprinted on people’s minds, and their minds efficiently respond to that. Therefore, developing a dialect that shapes their mind in a way that is beneficial to that society is essential.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the mind is flexible. It responds to the environment it is exposed to. It cannot easily do unfamiliar things. A dialect, therefore, plays a huge role in mental development. How the mind will act and react towards something is dependent on the everyday language that one speaks. The influence of lingo should therefore not be ignored because it plays a considerable role in thoughts and the way people will act upon situations.

Work Cited

Boroditsky, Lera. “How Language Shapes the Way We Think.”. 312 – 333.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "“How Language Shapes the Way We Think” by Boroditsky." June 24, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-language-shapes-the-way-we-think-by-boroditsky/.

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