A Note From the Editor

A Note From the Editor

“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.

English or Urdu: What should Pakistan’s language be?

English or Urdu: What should Pakistan’s language be?

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 Hybridity of Language: Italian in Argentina and Japanese in Brazil

The Hybridity of Language: Italian in Argentina and Japanese in Brazil

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.

Women's Testimony and the Language of Accusation

Women's Testimony and the Language of Accusation

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.  

Uncovering Understanding in Putnam's Theory of Meaning

Uncovering Understanding in Putnam's Theory of Meaning

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.

Finding love as a Native Internet Speaker

Finding love as a Native Internet Speaker

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”.

Gender Divides in the Language of International Soccer

Gender Divides in the Language of International Soccer

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.

Fascist Language in American Political Discourse

Fascist Language in American Political Discourse

Fascist’ is commonly used by both sides of the political spectrum to discredit the other. Its connotations are rich and varied, but its primary use is to insinuate that another’s viewpoint is hate-filled, totalitarian, antiquated, dangerous, stupid or just plain wrong.

Conveying Pain Through Comedy

Conveying Pain Through Comedy

Comedy can underline societal issues, humor can be used a vehicle for change. By injecting humor into issues such as racism, feminism, and homophobia, comedians like Hasan Minhaj, Trevor Noah, and Hannah Gadsby communicate their community’s pain in a way which is indirect, yet effective.

Debate Debrief: On Balance, Humanitarian Aid by NGOs Does More Harm than Good

Debate Debrief: On Balance, Humanitarian Aid by NGOs Does More Harm than Good

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. 

Political Campaigning in the Digital Age: Memes, Livestreams, Twitter and Female Candidates

Political Campaigning in the Digital Age: Memes, Livestreams, Twitter and Female Candidates

There is no quick solution to addressing this problem, but it seems that female candidates — especially democratic, pro-choice ones — can benefit from utilizing social media to face the misogynistic critiques that they receive.

Communication in the Global Village: How Technology can fuel Political Participation and Deepen divisions

Communication in the Global Village: How Technology can fuel Political Participation and Deepen divisions

As the technological acceleration of society leads to increased tension, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to not let this battle control us. We must reconsider what it means to truly communicate in the Global Village.

How Blockchain technology can support Environmental Sustainability in the globalized economy

How Blockchain technology can support Environmental Sustainability in the globalized economy

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.

Automated: The Arab World in 2030

Automated: The Arab World in 2030

Artificial intelligence is changing the way countries interact. By 2030, AI technology is forecasted to contribute more money to the global economy than the current output of China and India combined, and nearly $230 billion will flow directly into the economy of the Middle East.

What the Dotcom Bubble's Eruption Can Tell us about Netflix

What the Dotcom Bubble's Eruption Can Tell us about Netflix

As a giant in streaming, Netflix seems far too relevant to even consider leaving their state of optimism anytime soon. The dotcom bubble has acted as a framework to understand the factors that can lead to speculative bubbles.

Black Mirror: How On-Screen Dystopias Reflect our Relationship with Technology

Black Mirror: How On-Screen Dystopias Reflect our Relationship with Technology

What makes Black Mirror most unsettling, however, is that its ultimate critique is of us rather than the technology itself: because at the end of the day, technology is a mere catalyst to the morals and motives that already exist within us.

PODCAST: What Philosophy and Psychology can tell us About Trash in New York City

PODCAST: What Philosophy and Psychology can tell us About Trash in New York City

Why is New York City more littered than other cities around the world? And if trash cans are plotted all over the city, why do they so often go unused?