Language

 

 “The vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge”.

Humans have been using language to express our thoughts, connect with others and also share our knowledge since the beginning of time. The combination of sound that is used to communicate with people forms one of the fundamental parts of the community. In some ways, language allows us to facilitate our thoughts and help us to develop them well. Without language, our thoughts would make no sense as thinking also requires a natural mental language. Therefore much of our knowledge acquisition is mostly based on our language.

However, there are times when language becomes vague and ambiguous and limits our production of knowledge, people have hard times associating things together to show patterns which explain how the world works. For example in Natural Science,(chemistry)  there are specific terms for different compounds. There are organic compounds which look similar to a structure drawing but have vastly different properties. One example of disastrously different effects of very similar molecules is thalidomide. There are two isomers, only differing in their stereochemistry. The (R)-isomer is responsible for the sedating effect it was initially used for. The (S)-isomer lead to horrifying birth defects in the children of woman that took that drug. A slight error when describing the structure of compounds due to the vagueness of language might limit our understanding of the compounds.

 

Another aspect that can be considered is the Arts. Arts, similar to language is also a very effective way of conveying concepts and emotions in a way that others can understand and recognise. Metaphors are often used in commercials nowadays. However, a lot of the commercials are targeted towards a specific type of people. The Macdonald advertisement showed below are targetted towards Muslims. Muslims may see something in this text that non-Muslims may miss, the french fries which represent the fingers of hands that are praying. NOn-muslims might not be able to understand the culture of the metaphor and therefore the message they receive will be limited.

 

 

 

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