Modern Society And Its Effects On The Minds Of The Naive Victims Essay

Modern Society And Its Effects On The Minds Of The Naive Victims Essay

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“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote, once said by a man known as Albert Einstein, directly correlates to a sociolinguistic disease that has infected the worldview of modern society and plagued the minds of the naïve victims imprisoned within its false ideological assumptions. The scientifically-determined name for this disease is prescriptivism, which can be broadly defined as what society determines to be proper and appropriate language. Symptoms include “correct” use of grammar, vocabulary, meaning, pronunciation, and, in the worst cases of this disease, patients show signs of “linguistic etiquette.” Prescriptive grammarians argue that one form of language is always more logical, there is an appeal to and a preference towards classical and older forms of a language, and foreign words should not be immersed into the language being studied. This is different from a descriptive viewpoint, “which studies and characterizes the language of specific groups of people in a range of situations, without bringing any preconceived notions of correctness to the task, or favoring the language of one social group as somehow better than those of others (Mesthrie Chp. 1).” In other words, a prescriptive approach views different styles and structures of languages as either proper and correct or improper and incorrect, whereas a descriptive approach studies language in different scenarios and situations without biased beliefs on what should be considered correct according to a set of unwritten laws laid down by modern society. Although on the surface a prescriptive approach may not seem like an issue of concern, creating synthetic guide...

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...f equality in our society by placing undeserved value on those that abide by a self-manufactured language code of conduct. The term reification refers to the process by which a concept that is not real is made real by the fact that people believe in its existence and live and react accordingly. Prescriptivism ties into this because there really is no true value in having one singular proper form of language, but the fact that people believe one exists means that those who stray from the correct form of this language are affected. Overall, there are countless unique forms of language that reflect a person’s identity, culture, and individuality, and society has stripped away these characteristics by emphasizing a correct and proper form of language, which as a result creates false images of people that as a result affect their placement and roles within society.

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