October 7, 2012

Society: the Double Voice of Today

As we know it, Structuralism “begins with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, an early 20th century Swiss linguist who argued that language should be studied as if it were frozen in time and cut transversely like a leaf.” Should we dissect language and take it apart, word by word, sentence by sentence? That is what makes language as intricate as it is.

It gets me thinking more about Lakoff and Johnson’s views on metaphors. Language acts metaphorical and metaphors structure our perceptions. Do we unconsciously structure our language with metaphors? Do we use structuralism to strengthen and make our conversations much more legitimate? I believe we do. Words are such an integrate part of our lives, and not only words, but language as a whole. We need it to communicate and make our thoughts and opinions heard. All these signs that we need to function in society are all intricately thought out to have a purpose that sticks.

The metaphors that we constantly use, consciously and unconsciously, also correlate with Bahktin’s discussion of double voices.  I would like to bring up the theory that authors use other people’s voices and their own, which creates a whole new voice. Don’t we don’t do the same thing in social context as well? We will quote celebrities, use the latest slang, and put it in our own context. Yet, do we structuralize the way we are going to use the words and our own words to create our own voice? I think at some extent we do; we want to stand out and be our own person. Original, but at the same time society’s belief to all be different yet similar makes us unaware of how we use other voices in language.

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