“The language is created by the culture,” concluded linguist Daniel Everette in his observations of the Pirahã people, native to the Amazon. Mystifying linguists worldwide, the Pirahã have no descriptive words, stories or subordinate clauses. If the Pirahã’s culture is the physical manifestation of their language, what can the use of language in contemporary discourse teach us about cultures around the world? This edition’s writers touch on this question through various lenses.
Some are praising the decision as an attempt to preserve Urdu, and by extension, the Pakistani culture. But, an increasing number of Pakistanis are choosing to neglect Urdu and Pakistan’s regional languages in favor of English, due to English’s status as the global common language and as a signifier of socioeconomic prestige.
The evolutions of Brazilian Portuguese and Argentinian Spanish outline the massive impact of foreign introduction in these particular areas. From the invasion of Western powers to the influences of immigrant communities, these countries’ native languages underwent major cultural shifts in order to accommodate for the mass migration of people who became permanent, integral parts of the population.
Anita Hill was a law professor at Oklahoma University when she gave her testimony while Christine Blasey Ford is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University. Both women faced the task of discrediting their attackers, who dismissed their accusations as slander. Both received death threats. Both found themselves at the center of a national conversation.
When we consider the notions of competence and understanding, we see an intuitive relationship between them. Being competent in a subject entails being knowledgeable enough to accomplish a particular goal, perhaps established by context. Understanding something, on the other hand, implies a sort of complete knowledge about a subject.
Through seemingly reductive forms of digital communication, we are also creating a variety of ways to talk about our experience in the digital age. The newly coined vocabularies, styles, and emoticons of the digital medium are already amounting to a different kind of language. The famous blogger, Simon Stawski, went so far as to refer to the way couples communicate online as the “new language of love”.
The use of gendered language and rhetoric in the context of international soccer has resulted in the general international regard for women’s soccer as being secondary to men’s and trivialized in comparison. This undoubtedly has influenced general issues that exist in relation to sexism in the world of soccer and leads us to question how much inequality between the two genders remains within FIFA.
Humanitarian aid in the modern era is complex, with thousands of NGOs supplying various forms of aid worldwide. Relief efforts by NGOs have come under criticism for inefficiency, poor allocation of resources and have even been shown to have played a role in prolonging conflicts in some cases.
Though springing forth from noble intentions and a moral calling, these issues pose the question of whether, on balance, humanitarian aid by NGOs does more harm than good. This past Thursday the club debated this motion.
Many people already recognize the harmful effects globalization has had on the environment and how it has marginalized people in favor of profit. Blockchain can empower the individual, helping them make more informed decision making in the market, keeping supply chains transparent, and allow for me peer-to-peer interaction without having to go through financial intermediaries who raise costs and withhold information.