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Language and Power

Language is peculiar only to humans for it can serve a multitude of functions. The chief among them is communication, through which an exchange of feelings, emotions and ideas have become facile. To narrow our context, the next is power. However, power, here is the sovair faire of influencing the behavior of others. Concealed in the cognitive paragon of humans is the exploitation of the language. From eons, men have exploited this competence to have an influence on others which further leads to getting authority and power. Moreover, this exploitation is still observable either in minor scale which is an influence in one’s near vibe or larger scale on which they can influence masses. For further understanding this psychological competence, we need something more.

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Logically, I would prefer the classification of language as literal and emotive. Literal use of language is concerned with the literal or real meaning of words, its personal meaning not more nor less. This is no more than “how are you” and “I am fine” kind of langauge. On the other hand emotive language is its provocative use. It has become the weapon through which many politician and statesmen have achieved power. What they do is use words in a sense that provoke action. The words they utter are no less than bullets. There are triggers of happiness and discomfort for all of us through which our feelings of joy and worry arise instinctively the moment we hear them. They arise our emotions and as a consequence, we act.

I do not mean to influence on you the logic and its jargon. What I want is to make you think of these triggers and find out who in the history has used them to gain authority and power.

For instance, one of the most praised orators of ancient Athens is Demosthenese who united all Grecians against Philip, (the father of Alexander the Great) in 354 B.C. Demosthenese had an inarticulate and stammering pronunciation but he was resilient and persistent enough that he overcame it through placing pebbles under his tongue. He exploited the art of language and achieved great height, although he was exiled later on because of his rivals. Even the Sophist school of ancient Athens taught the art of speaking, of exploiting the language.

To sum up, language becomes very powerful for if we understand how to exploit it. Language is the beauty and the beast. For if we exploit it optimistically it is the beauty, however, the opposite implies the latter. Further, we can and we must use language to foment positivity. We ought to understand this topsy turvy nature of ourselves and of others to avoid intolerance and make this world a happy place.

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2 thoughts on “Language and Power

  1. Over the past couple of days I’ve enjoyed reading your poetry. The way you write makes me feel like I’m alone in your words, which is quite nice because I think it allows the emotional impact to hit hard and feel very personal. Your poems are quiet – and you pack a lot of power in those quiet moments. I love your work! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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