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August 15, 2013

How Language Has Transformed Who We Are

If you have read many of my blogs here, you know that I ....

...like and use TED Talks in many of my classes.

TED Talks are useful, easy to understand, and best of all, they are free.

If you haven't used TED Talks, or want to take a fresh look, you can start here - http://www.ted.com/talks.

TED Talks tend to express the best thinking - and many times the best questions - on almost every topic.

For the purposes of this blog, a TED Talk on the use and ramifications of language couldn't get any better.

Here's a TED Talk on how language is, in a sense, a tool, though a tool like no other, that allows us to do the one thing that, for better or worse, makes human society possible; cooperation. Check out this video and let me know what you think - http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_pagel_how_language_transformed_humanity.html?8/5/13.

And if you study how English is used across the United States, you might find this language map more than a little interesting. It shows the pockets of non-English speaking people across this supposedly English speaking country. You might be surprised at the use and spread of so many languages - especially in the larger cities. You can open the language map here - http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/language_map.html.

Take time to take delight in your discoveries and be sure to send me any language usages or historical nuances that interest you, and be sure to let me know what it is about language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

Morf

Posted by mmorf at August 15, 2013 10:35 PM

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