language   179153

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let's not be in the moment
"This is a kind of neo-liberalism of the emotions, in which happiness is seen not as a response to our circumstances but as a result of our own individual mental effort, a reward for the deserving. The problem is not your sky-high rent or meager paycheck, your cheating spouse or unfair boss or teetering pile of dirty dishes. The problem is you.

It is, of course, easier and cheaper to blame the individual for thinking the wrong thoughts than it is to tackle the thorny causes of his unhappiness. So we give inner-city schoolchildren mindfulness classes rather than engage with education inequality, and instruct exhausted office workers in mindful breathing rather than giving them paid vacation or better health care benefits."

would be a good response to things like:
"I've had plenty of hurt in the past (disability related bullying, rape, etc), and I choose not to let other people hurt my feelings anymore. I've learned not to let my self esteem be dictated by other people's comments or actions. Life is what a person makes of it. Glass half empty or glass half full. "
derailing  social-justice  language  discourse 
10 hours ago by mappings
Idle Words - Arabic
Muslims believe that Arabic as written in the 7th century A.D. is the language of divine revalation. This has served as a tremendously conservative force on written Arabic, with two important consequences.

The first is that texts from over a thousand years ago remain accessible to modern readers. If you're an English speaker, where even texts from 200 years ago can be rough going, this is quite a treat.

The second is that spoken Arabic has diverged substantially from the written language, so you can study it formally for years and not be able to understand a television commercial.

This is where it really helps to love language study. Arabic has a large number of dialects, some of which are not mutually intelligible, but all educated Arabs will know the formal written language, which they consider to be a higher form of their day-to-day speech. This 'higher' language is used in speeches, news programs, lectures and other formal contexts, but never in casual conversation unless differences in dialect make it absolutely necessary. The combination of numerous dialects and a formal/informal continuum is pretty much unique to Arabic and gives rise to fascinating situations watching Arabs calibrate their lanugage based on the situation and the linguistic background of their interlocutor.
arabic  language 
13 hours ago by xianoforange
Historical vocabulary
To many of Lincoln’s contemporaries and even his allies, “equality” still evoked alarming echoes of the French Revolution. To speak of “race equality” implied not just that people should all be treated alike, but that the races really were morally and intellectually equivalent. That seems self-evident to us, but it was an extreme and dubious proposition to all but a few radical Republicans, like Thaddeus Stevens. Lincoln himself almost certainly didn’t believe it, nor did the prominent scientists of the age. In fact, the phrase “race equality” was the phrase the defenders of slavery threw at Republicans to charge that they wanted to raise Negros to the same status as whites and encourage miscegenation — charges the Republicans indignantly and sincerely denied.
slavery  race  language  words  history 
13 hours ago by xianoforange
The Westernization of Emoji
“The people who fight the hardest for certain emoji are usually trying to fight for representation for themselves in some way,” Lee told me. “Most linguists say emoji are not currently a language—they’re paralinguistic, the equivalent of hand gestures or voice tone. But for people who use them, it’s almost like fighting for a word that [shows] you exist. When you come up with a word to describe your population, it’s a very powerful thing.”
internet  emoji  language 
19 hours ago by littlerhymes

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