Thursday, 21 August, 2014

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Reviving Lost Vocabulary

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The study surveyed 6 to 14-year-olds, but I think we can be pretty certain that American students haven't done much catching up to bygone norms in high school and college either. It is probably safe to assume also that the two decades since the study have not witnessed a renaissance of verbal dexterity. Nor need we detain ourselves for long pondering the reasons for this decline. It seems pretty obvious that the demise of reading as it has been supplanted by electronic media, especially television, is the main suspect. At the beginning of the television era, in 1948, a comedian, Fred Allen, could refer to television as "agitated decalcomania," and presumably there were people then who had the slightest idea what he was talking about.




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Description: Reviving Lost Vocabulary
The two most prominent philosophers of the 20th century -- Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger -- would certainly answer "yes, and more." They believed that language is not just the sum of our thoughts, but of our entire personalities as well. We are what we say and think, and both processes are conducted entirely in language.

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