Tag Archives | Language

The A-Z Of Occupation

o for occupyEvery social movement I have been involved with, or covered as a journalist, develops its own language of liberation, its own alphabet, and its own buzzwords, rhetoric and discourse.

Here are some of the key words I heard/retained in covering the Occupy Wall Street movement. I am sure there are many words, phrases, and slogans I overlooked, never heard or forgot. Send your favorites to: dissector@mediachannel.org.

These are words that power a struggle and speak to the internal processes that attracted so many to take part, as well as the issues that drive it and the obstacles that face it. They are some of the phrases, terms, sayings and expressions that the occupiers use in their conversations to define themselves and discuss their mission.

A. Adbusters, Anarchy, Arrest, Activist, Action, Anger, Angry, Atrium, Assembly (Freedom of,) Arab Spring, Autonomy, Anonymous. All Night, All Week, Austerity, Autumn Awakening.

B.… Read the rest

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Jiizus: The Jamaican Patois Bible

Screen shot 2011-12-24 at 9.03.46 PMRobert Pigott reports on the controversial new Bible translation into Jamaican patois for BBC News Magazine:

The Bible is, for the first time, being translated into Jamaican patois. It’s a move welcomed by those Jamaicans want their mother tongue enshrined as the national language – but opposed by others, who think learning and speaking English should be the priority.

In the Spanish Town Tabernacle near the capital, Kingston, the congregation is hearing the word of God in the language of the street.

At the front of the concrete-block church, a young man and woman read alternate lines from the Bible.

This is the Gospel of St Luke in Jamaican patois – or more precisely, “Jiizas – di buk we Luuk rait bout im”.

The sound of the creole, developed from English by West African slaves in Jamaica’s sugar plantations 400 years ago, has an electrifying effect on those listening.

Several women rise to testify, in patois, to what it means to hear the Bible in their mother tongue.

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A Browser Extension That Flips Gender

1950s-housewife-223x300Danielle Sucher's Jailbreak the Patriarchy is a Chrome extension that substitutes the word "women" for "men" and "he" for "she" and so on within all text. The results are thought provoking -- toggle between a patriarchal and matriarchal online world with the click of a button:
Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. For example: “he loved his mother very much” would read as “she loved her father very much”, “the patriarchy also hurts men” would read as “the matriarchy also hurts women”, that sort of thing. This makes reading stuff on the internet a pretty fascinating and eye-opening experience, I must say. What would the world be like if we reversed the way we speak about women and men? Well, now you can find out!
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The Quest To Invent A Sarcasm Detector

science-sarcasm-Professor-Frink-Comic-Book-Guy-631Sarcasm levels are ever-increasing in our modern world — perhaps a century from now, communications will contain more sarcastic expressions than sincere ones. So what is the value of being tongue-in-cheek? It involves more intelligence and creativity than straight-talk, and machines cannot (yet) understand or imitate it with complete accuracy. Thus irony may be our last and best weapon in the inevitable war against the robots. Smithsonian Magazine reveals:

For the past 20 years, researchers from linguists to psychologists to neurologists have been studying our ability to perceive snarky remarks and gaining new insights into how the mind works. Studies have shown that exposure to sarcasm enhances creative problem solving, for instance.

Sarcasm detection is an essential skill if one is going to function in a modern society dripping with irony. “Our culture in particular is permeated with sarcasm,” says Katherine Rankin, a neuropsychologist at the University of California at San Francisco.

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Identifying Psychopathic Killers By Their Own Word Choices

ShiningVia ScienceDaily:

As words can be the soul’s window, scientists are learning to peer through it: Computerized text analysis shows that psychopathic killers make identifiable word choices — beyond conscious control — when talking about their crimes.This research could lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment, and have implications law enforcement and social media.

The words of psychopathic murderers match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness, says Jeff Hancock, Cornell professor of computing and information science, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.

Hancock and his colleagues analyzed stories told by 14 psychopathic male murderers held in Canadian prisons and compared them with 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail. Their stories were taped, transcribed and subjected to computer analysis.

Psychopaths used more conjunctions like “because,” “since” or “so that,” implying that the crime “had to be done” to obtain a particular goal.

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Teens Largely Unbothered by Vulgar Slurs Online, New Study Finds

Rated for TeenGreg Howard writes in Slate:

If someone called us these names to our faces, or even if we overheard them, how would we react? Ask them to stop? Throw a punch? Walk away? All of the above, and in that order? Now what would we do if those words popped up on our Facebook wall, Twitter feed or cell phone? Would we … laugh?

According to a recent national Associated Press-MTV poll of young people between 14 and 24, most teens and young 20-somethings think it’s alright to use slurs among friends or when joking around in cyberspace. Seventy-one percent say that people are more likely to use slurs online, and 51 percent encounter discriminatory words and images on social networking sites. Only half of those surveyed said they would probably ask someone using such language online to stop.

Most say they feel more comfortable with slurs online because people are just trying to be funny or cool.

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Free Speech! How Should It Work?

Cooperation is the foundation of any and all societies. A high level of cooperation leads to a higher standard of living and a greater degree of prosperity. A low level of cooperation leads to a breaking down of society as seen so many times in man’s history. When we agree to cooperate in an effort to make and maintain a society we agree to respect each others rights whether we acknowledge this openly or not.

Our rights are the guidelines of our freedoms. If one man’s freedom becomes another man’s slavery that is not freedom but an abuse of freedom. It is a blatant act of disrespect and a severe lack of cooperation, thus counterproductive to society. People that willfully disrespect the rights of others in a society are an enemy to society no matter how their religion or personal beliefs may justify such actions.

Speech is a very important freedom that is abused quite often in our society.… Read the rest

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Do You Speak Christianese?

John Blake reveals the doublespeak code words and phrases that Christians use to convey hidden meanings to one another, for CNN:
Can you speak Christian? Have you told anyone “I’m born again?” Have you “walked the aisle” to “pray the prayer?” Did you ever “name and claim” something and, after getting it, announce, “I’m highly blessed and favored?” Many Americans are bilingual. They speak a secular language of sports talk, celebrity gossip and current events. But mention religion and some become armchair preachers who pepper their conversations with popular Christian words and trendy theological phrases...
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