I do believe the concepts of language being rule governed and precision and vagueness are the most important of concepts in regard to language. Language is rule governed; whiskey makes you sick when you’re well. Whiskey, when you are sick, makes you well(143). Precision and vagueness; “teacher strikes idle kids” could mean teachers have gone on strike leaving kids idle or a teacher has spanked an idle kid (155). The same words are used yet they have different meanings due to the rules of punctuation and sentence formation. I once saw a quote in a medical journal, Pilots whose minds are dull won’t last long. Pilots, whose minds are dull, won’t last long. Could mean pilots have dull minds and won’t last long or could mean pilots whose minds become dulled cannot last long. Another example is A woman without her, man is nothing and a woman without her man is nothing. The sentence is vague unless the correct stress and intonation is placed on certain words to portray a certain meaning.

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I abuse languages in a range of situation and in many instances due to lack of understanding of the concepts underlying language. One of the most common ways in which I have abused language is in the use of the power paradigm, while society calls for a balance between power and powerlessness through use of mannerism in language such as please or I am sorry, I find it hard to strike a balance since I do not like to use the powerless language mechanisms. For instance, as a captain of my football team I have never been able to say to my team could you turn up for practice on Saturday, rather I say I expect everyone to turn up at the training ground on Saturday (151).

  • Language is symbolic: Why are there common depictions of symbols such as five fingers representing five, While the language may develop symbols independently, why do they all have common aspects, for instance, the commonality of the term mama in many unrelated languages.
  • Language is rule governed: Isn’t the subjectivity of language in a clash with the rules of language? If language is governed by rules, do the same rules apply to all languages?
  • Language is subjective: Is the subjectivity of language a mere simplification of language? If meanings are in people what is the role of definitions of words?
  • Language and worldview: Why do people speaking different languages have different worldviews? Why are there parallels in worldviews for people of different languages for instance in subjects such as philosophy?
  • Naming and identity: Is naming a function of sociology rather than psychology? What is the difference between an unusual and a distinctive name?
  • Affiliation: How can the use of negative affiliation for instance by lovers be explained? Is affiliation a function of sociology or language?
  • Power: are power paradigms a reflection of the hypocrisy of the society? Isn’t it more appropriate to use language without ascribing power to statement but just in its pure form?
  • Sexism and racism: Is language really to blame for instances for sexist or racist expression? Isn’t the elimination of some words from the language lexicon an impoverization of the language?
  • Precision and vagueness: Does there exist intentional vagueness in some statements uttered? Is there any utility in the use of abstraction and vagueness in communication?
  • Responsibility: Isn’t responsibility going against the rule of the subjectiveness of language? Isn’t it true that some irresponsible language is actually meant to make others uncomfortable?
  • Disruptive language: Isn’t the concept of disruptive language simply a function of sociology? Is disruptive language a function of education and intelligence?
  • Gender differences: Is classifying language into genders reducing language from a universal symbol paradigm? Are gender differences in the language being eroded by changing roles in contemporary society?


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