Category: Readers, Writers, Texts

Either/Or: Gender in Advertising

In the advertising world, images of men and women are used to promote products of all kinds. Each of us is enculturated. This is a lifelong process in which our identities are formed. Through enculturation we learn many things. Not least, perhaps, we learn gendered identities of what it […]

The Language of Advertising

“Students, and many teachers, are notorious believers in their immunity to advertising. These naive inhabitants of consumerland believe that advertising is childish, dumb, a bunch of lies, and influences only the vast hordes of the less sophisticated. Their own purchases are made purely on the basis of value […]

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

“We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language. Language is not simply a reporting device for experience, but a defining framework for it.” Benjamin Lee Wharf, Language Thought and Reality (1956) Whorf was a linguistics enthusiast and through his amateur fascination with language, and under […]

Hate Speech

One of the most terrible things about a national security crisis, real or imagined, is that xenophobic leaders instill fear and terror about people who are different from the majority. It is shockingly easy to do, and is part and parcel of human linguistic cultures. In this section […]


The word “jargon” can be traced to 14th century Old French, but the actual origin is unknown. “Jargon” is derived from the fourteenth century term for “twittering or warbling of birds,” which in turn has the root ‘garg’ from which also stem such words as “gargle,” and “gurgle.” […]

What’s In A Name?

Names, exact terms and labels can serve a valuable purpose for communication in specific contexts. For example, it is good that in an operating theatre a surgeon can ask for a precise tool with an esoteric name instead of relying on vague description.  On the other hand naming, […]