language

Your language speaks volumes

Ever wondered why there’s so much logic-perverted action in/from the USA?
It’s probably worth a scientific paper why so many people tend to make a mixup mistake in both directions, i.e. always getting it wrong – a comma where none belongs and then omitting it where one should be. Stuff like that.
But there are many other issues with language and they reflect what I often say: “Language shapes thought and thought shapes language. Your speech speaks volumes.
I cringe every time I hear stuff like “three times less” (which would be -300%).
In the same way people also mistake “three times more” for “three times as much”. (Three times more is four times as much, since the “more” describes an increase by units of the base amount. Otherwise “one time more” would be the same as the base amount you’re referring to.)
Cynically speaking, is it any surprise in such a situation that people even manage to confuse “war” and “peace”? (Also: War on/of Terror, anyone?)
Don’t get me started on the thing with medicine “for” an illness instead of “against”. Explains the drug pushers’ symptom treatment focus. And this kind of language (= thinking) spawns all kinds of less common and even more puzzling cases.
So, newsflash: We don’t need a prescription for war, but for peace or against war.

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De-Individualization (“the customer” vs. “the customers”)

You often hear it when businesspeople speak. “The customer” instead of “the customers” even when talking about the totality of them. That totality is treated like a single entity, as a type.
That is convenient, because it helps to generalize and to deny the individual interests and thus potentially causes thought patterns of dehumanization to creep into the mind.
It is a common thought pattern in the business world, because ideally the whole customer base is conformant, homogenous. That helps with maximization of efficiency and thus profit. Deviants are inconvenient for that, as is proven again and again not just in the business world, but anywhere where fear reigns, often fueled by big money.

Think about where else you usually find this rhetorical tool for mind (self-)conditioning:
“The Jew”
“The Negro”
“The foreigner”

Note the quite crucial, intentionally left out word “average”. (Which comes with its own set of problems somewhat related to this topic, but is not as severe as when left out altogether.)

Not a coincidence. Same thought pattern. If you saw a group of people as individuals, you’d have to accept the mental effort and practical inconvenience of allowing each individual their relevance.

Marketing has learned a lot from Hitler and such, and Hitler learned a lot from people before his time.

As I often point out: Thought shapes language and language shapes thought.
(That’s the whole point of applied rhetorics.)