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Language. The possible cause for confusion.

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posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:40 PM
This is something that I have been recently researching as was curious if anyone else had noticed that though we think we speak properly, English is a very confusing language, not just when translated, but English in itself.

Most common words in the English language have more that one meaning, though we may speak to someone who gets our original meaning, we can easily misconstrue our thoughts, without even realizing it.

I have always been interested in what we think our common language is. There had to be a time when we as a planet understood one another, either by basic speech, or interpretative language. What if our most basic asset, is our basic downfall. Which is not being able to communicate, which keeps us from our basic need to connect with our fellow man.

I will post some information that I have found most interesting in how what we think makes us connect in our form of speech with one another, is also what may be keeping us from connecting.

There is a strange puzzle in the English language — we have many words which have more than one meaning. The meanings are sometimes totally unrelated — how on earth can one word mean two different things? For instance, how can lead be a verb meaning to go first and also the name of a heavy metal? How can pound have four meanings?

The answer lies in the fact that English is an invaded language — it has been influenced by many other languages over its long history. Words which now look the same might have come from entirely different sources. Some words might have started from the same source but gradually acquired different shades of meaning between, say, the 13th and 16th centuries.

Here is another example.
An Ode to the Spelling Chequer

Prays the Lord for the spelling chequer
That came with our pea sea!
Mecca mistake and it puts you rite
Its so easy to ewes, you sea.

I never used to no, was it e before eye?
(Four sometimes its eye before e.)
But now I've discovered the quay to success
It's as simple as won, too, free!

Sew watt if you lose a letter or two,
The whirled won't come two an end!
Can't you sea? It's as plane as the knows on yore face
S. Chequer's my very best friend

I've always had trubble with letters that double
"Is it one or to S's?" I'd wine
But now, as I've tolled you this chequer is grate
And its hi thyme you got won, like mine.

—Janet E. Byford

An English Homophone Dictionary

Established, Fundamental, Axioms
This page is more in reference to the "wording" of the legal system and how the use words such as the ones above to use against those who do not fully understand the "language" they use to confuse us.

Semiotics for Beginners
This page is the best Ive read yet. This explains how we actually interpret "signs", and how language has almost no meaning if our brains cannot interpret it.

Ever since I have been looking into this, I reevaluate what someone is trying to tell me. I have also noticed that I expect then when having a conversation with someone that they can fully understand what they are saying, and that they are willing to make sure that I can understand. I have allot less disagreements with people now, and have learned to open my mind to the thoughts of others, as they may the same as mine, just communicated a different way.

Id love to hear if anyone else has researched this, and if it has helped them in anyway, to communicate with others.
Peace to you..

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:54 PM
I believe if wee look at englishs sister language, frisian, we can understand alot. About how english use to sound, also english has a lot of latin influence.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:04 PM
Excellent point. I see this everyday at work when two non natural English speakers try to communicate in English. I always end up in the middle translating. becuase I can understand both, but the other get the wrong end of understanding and the other cannot communicate the reasoning fully.]

It is a very complicated language, most people say it's easy, but... no sorry.

The point with English is that you always have to listen to the context, intonation, as well as inflection.

My wife is a mother tongue Spanish speaker, And i am forever trying to get her to speak in full sentences, they ALWAYS leave out the object, Whereas I, in Spanish get accused of speaking too many words!

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:07 PM
I do not know about other languages but in English there is a massive amount of rymes we call tongue twisters. I am sure there are in other languages too.

But basically the purpose is to teach proper pronunciation and inflection in a fun way. like a game!

See the link here

Tongue Twisters

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by NoRegretsEver

Steven Pinker - The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature

Interesting subject.

A `flavour` of his TED-Talk lecture.

Now, many events can be subject to either construal, kind of like the classic figure-ground reversal illusions, in which you can either pay attention to a particular object, in which case the space around it recedes from attention, or you can see the faces in the empty space, in which case the object recedes out of consciousness.

How are these construals reflected in language?

Well, in both cases, the thing that is construed as being affected is expressed as the direct object: the noun after the verb.


So when you think of the event as causing the muffin to go somewhere -- where you're doing something to the muffin -- you say, "Give the muffin to the mouse." When you construe it as, "cause the mouse to have something," you're doing something to the mouse, and therefore, you express it as "Give the mouse the muffin."


[edit on 27-7-2010 by UmbraSumus]

[edit on 27-7-2010 by UmbraSumus]

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:19 PM
The ambiguity of the English language can be a factor in conspiracy theories, because it can give rise to perverse interpretations.

I came across an example a couple of days ago, on a video clip somebody had posted.
The speaker was telling us that a birth certificate is a "Security", traded on the the Stock Exchange, and as proof of this statement he pointed to the words on the certificate; "This is printed on security paper".
"There you are- it's a Security"- it just did not occur to him that "security" might have more than one meaning.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

Hi Disreali,

Saw that thread and I agree with you it can lead to confusions sometimes, However that post had more beneath the surface.

One question for all

In other languages do they also play with word.

One example. I was watching the film "Master and Commander" in a Mexican cinema.

there is one scene where Crowe, looking at a ship's biscuit says to his friends.
\"of you had the choice. out of these two weevils which one would you eat.

His friends said well I would pick that one as it has considerably more girth and therefore more nutrition.

To this Crowe replies, Ah well in the service, you should know that it is always better to pick the lesser of two weevils.

This was a subtitles film and so the translation on the screen was completely lost!. I was the only one in the cinema laughing!!

But I am interested to know if the same happens in other languages too?

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:31 PM
Great thread. Words and their origin fascinate me.

Ex: Wind a clock. (v) Blow like the wind. (n) I suppose context is key.


posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:37 PM
That's a good point, almost every place on this planet people speak English, but I always wondered what they think they are saying. I sometimes watch a Japanese movie, and though I watch with subtitles I still know that unless I am watching their expressions, I wont really get the movie.

Even when I watch an English show and they have someone speaking Spanish, I understand what the Spanish person said, but thats never what they translate into English.

As far as legal terms, I do think that this information can help those that are looking into the system, the words they present are not always as they seem.

That's where this link comes in.

Peace to you...

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:40 PM
YEAH, ONLY IF YOU WANT CONFUSION. I know that even the average idiot can figure this out, OH, AND BY THE WAY, i'm an idiot.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 08:58 PM
Rally interesting video that, When I get more time I will watch the entire thing.

Although back to the original point whenever people ask me what is the most complicated part of English, I fail to answer, as to me it all makes sense.

Even the there, their, they're thing,

Further, Father and farther.

wear and where,

your, and you're

OK but here is one for you

You can ask for More, but you can also more a boat. and yet you can walk on a moor.

One is a request for further supply of whatever you want, the other is to secure a boat to a static point. the other is a deserted hilly overgrown wild area.

Which in reply i give the modern euphemism...WTF.

But it all come down to this (which i learned when I was 8)

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and then your better, best.

[edit on 27/7/2010 by JakiusFogg]

[edit on 27/7/2010 by JakiusFogg]

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:06 PM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

Good, better, best. Never let is rest. Until your good is better, and then your better, best.

Love that.

It also comes down to sign, our words have no meaning, unless someone can recognize its meaning.

Peace to you...

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:10 PM
reply to post by NoRegretsEver

As far as the link to the FMOTL goes.

Do you understand what what you are reading there?

Now that is interesting.

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:13 PM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

Yes I do, that is a great extension of a thread I started a few days ago, but wanted to start this because it seems that they can go hand and hand, but that is one of the traps that I am talking about.

Keep reading it, it gets better.

Peace to you...

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:17 PM
reply to post by NoRegretsEver

HAHAHAH Thank you, you have just granted jurisdiction to me, by standing under that statement!! therefore you now have to follow whatever I tell you!.


to understand means actually to Stand under. i.e. to grant someone higher elevation (power) than you. and NOT to comprehend, as WE all believe it does.

English gets even worse when you start looking at the like of the FMOTL and the Legalese English!

[edit on 27/7/2010 by JakiusFogg]

[edit on 27/7/2010 by JakiusFogg]

posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 09:20 PM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

Very good my friend. These terms are the past and future traps that await those who choose not to learn the initial wording of those who taught us this form of language in the first place.

Peace to you...

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