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In A World Full Of All Kinds Of Languages, They Don’T Always

Decent Essays
In a world full of all kinds of languages, they don’t always mean the same thing. In the passage Words Don’t Always Mean What They Mean by Steven Pinker, he writes about the nature of language and cognitive science. In his passage, he is analytical and straightforward with analyzing multiple examples of how euphemisms are used and why. He always makes his examples to prove his points and by getting his audience involved and thinking by including rhetorical questions. Words don’t mean what they mean because of different interpretations, the complex and euphemism human language, and the manipulation of people 's intent. Steven Pinker, in Word Don’t Always Mean What They Mean, is able to give points as to how words can have different…show more content…
Pinker had also included ““Gee, Officer, is there any way I could pay the fine right here?” and anyone who has sat through a fundraising dinner is familiar with euphemistic schnorring like, “We’re counting on you to show leadership.””(Pinker) The example included someone bribing a police officer with money to try to get out of a ticket but saying it in such a way where it sounds less inappropriate than it would be to bribe a cop. To show how language can be manipulated to insinuate people 's intent rather than stating it as a blatant proposition. In paragraph ten of Words Don’t Always Mean What They Really Mean, Pinker states, “Later he slaps his forehead: “‘Coffee’ doesn 't mean coffee! ‘Coffee” means sex!” The moment is funny, but it’s also a reminder of just how carefully romantic partners must always tread. Make too blatant a request, as in Tootsie, and the hearer is offended; too subtle, as in Seinfeld, and it can go over the hearers head.” (Pinker) This was a great example by Pinker because the man completely misunderstood the woman because she disguised the true meaning of what she really wanted. In the article Languages from Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought, it states “Language is a way of communication by symbols. Feelings, ideas, thoughts and wishes are encoded, sometimes manipulated and passed on by the utterer; the receiver then decodes them.” (Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought)
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