Preserving Purity of a Language

A language is a tool to get a message across to the right set of people. A language is sufficient if a minimum number of words express maximum phenomenons occuring in life. If a language has very high number of words, remembering them all becomes a great concern for people using it. Subconsciously, people who know these extra words are perceived as being superior. The issue of preventing such words from entering the language is impossible. If me and you want to use a certain word for some object or phenomenon, we can add it. Say if we want to use idiot-box for an object already known as television, we can add it to the language. If a majority of people adopt it's usage, it will be accepted and the language changes it character. Instead of say 20k words in English language, there would be 20k +1 .

In evolutionary games, every sound does 2 type of things, it attracts potential mates, or it attracts predators. If the information that you want to convey reaches an adversary, you are going to be harmed by it and if it reaches your friends, you would be helped by it. This difficult language (which has many more words) helps you to take the information only to those who know the words and thus survives. If I use the word lexicon, I merely convey the meaning of the word to one who knows it, probably a person who studies language.

There is also a complete symbolic language which purely survives due to this. Since symbolic language requires prior association to it, it fails completely across people who've met for first time if there isn't a norm which suggests qualities. Without understanding the common associations, it's a grave mistake to use symbolic language.

Every sentence has an inherent assumption and an implication built in it.

Ramesh's roar sent a chill down the thief's spine.

The above sentence implies that Ramesh behaves like a lion. This is first order implication. This assumption is always your own opinion. It is never the thing that the author said. Since in Indian context, a lion is seen just to be brave, this sentence typically portrays Ramesh as a brave person. This is a sentence which is assumed based on YOUR OPINION (very important to notice) of Ramesh being a lion. 'A lion is the king of the jungle' being a very famous proverb makes people think of Ramesh being compared to a king. This is 3rd order implication. However, a lion weights 400kgs, eats and kills every week, mates with many lionesses which is generally looked down upon in our society is completely ignored. This arises due to people not being aware of it. People in general just believe a lion is the king of the jungle even though in my opinion, a lion himself certainly doesn't feel so. He doesn't even know what a king is!

The above sentence also assumes that the person on whom Ramesh shouted, since people whom I've experienced have never roared, they've always shouted, is a thief. Whether he's a thief or not is still a question to be proved. Under Indian law, where a person is innocent until proven guilty, the person by default is not a thief. So by using this assumption of the person being a thief, the speaker assumes a pretty serious accusation of the person being a thief.

The more the implied connections are, the more they'd be perceived as our own opinion. The more they're perceived as our own opinion, the more they'd give us positive or negative reinforcements, since our opinion is always more valuable to us than others' opinions. Negative reinforcments, according to prospect theory are about twice more harmful than positive reinforcements. Negative things, being based on fear of death worsen the memory associated with symbolically interpreted statements which are our own opinions.

There's even the most basic assumption of language. If you say 'A strawberry is red in color.', I can fight you saying that the color that I defined of strawberry is xofon. Xofon is my nice custom word for it. Pretty cool word, huh! I'm sure you'd be irritated completely by such arguments.

In symbolic language, I can define anything to be anything, In life, since there are way too many things, one would associate literally any absolutely normal thing with something it is not, things progressively get worse.

Any statement, in the assumption and implication space, can be viewed with both negative and positive views. There are both very respecting and extremely insulting words for each and every phenomenon in language.

For maintaining purity of language, let us all know exact definitions of words and use simple words. Let us not distribute sensitive information unless it becomes absolutely necessary to do so thereby penalizing all adversaries who steal information. Let us keep our poets aside, and interpret metaphors upto just 1st order implications and assumptions.

Sagar Acharya
[27th December 2022]

Read more: Politics and English Language by George Orwell.