Language in peace and war

While Gerrod was off gallivanting around Washington, D.C. I was attending in an awesome lecture on “the use of language in war and peace”. It was the first instalment of the Secretary-General’s lecture series that I’ve attended and it was sooo interesting!

The two expert speakers were Professor Chinua Achebe, an incredibly accomplished 75-year-old Nigerian novelist with honorary degrees from over 30 universities, and Professor Paul Muldoon, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet from Northern Ireland.

Some of Professor Achebe’s best insights were:

  • The origin of language is to explain the world around us and to explain us to the world. We must stay true to this.
  • The integrity of language is constantly under threat: lies are free and easy to tell. To deceive is to destroy the integrity of words and to lesson their power.
  • We should be wary of word play that lessens the meaning of words. Here, Prof. Muldoon added a not-so-professorial insight: “for instance, how can we accept Starbucks calling their smallest drink a ‘tall’?”
  • The ability of language to mediate in human conflicts depends on our ability to trust what we hear.

In short: say less. Mean more.

Posted in everyday life
One comment on “Language in peace and war
  1. Katie says:

    wait…I’ve heard this somewhere before…now where was it?

    Oh yes.

    “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments

  • Nick: Congratulations guys! So happy for you!!
  • gerrod: Yes I do, its fantastic! I get 2 – 3 months out of each razor!
  • Peter: Razor PIt: Gerrod, I read your glowing endorsement 18 months ago, and thought I’d give it time before I took any action. Now is that time: Do you still use it? If the answer is yes...
  • Bill Foley (v.senior): Our Dyson was born in the Retrovision Hospital on 4/1/2007. Given a bit of a thrashing on DIY projects in addition to the house. New motor needed in 8/2013, parts and labour...
  • rich: Too right! Everything about phil and teds is annoying,,from where the valve is to chopping your fingers off trying to open it , to scraping it along the floor after your ve chopped your...

Random Photos

Night time

Ben and Ted feeding a sheep

IMG_0382.JPG

Lazy koala

Jason and Gerrod on the stratosphere

Archives

2014 (25)
2013 (71)
2012 (87)
2011 (121)
2010 (159)
2009 (175)
2008 (137)
2007 (166)
2006 (235)
2005 (330)
2004 (278)