A few days ago Jack Ricchiuto blogged this thought:

what happens in language is what happens in culture. In many ways we treat ourselves and each other the way we treat language

It rang bells for me; often the casual choices of words we use may dramatically shape how we can respond to any challenge. For instance in biz meetings where we talk about “deliverables” we immediately start deleting ambiguity often treating fuzzy things as if they are just hard objects. It’s perhaps a small step to treating people as objects, as in human resources.

Today, I see Jack refers to Karen Fong’s collection of words in other languages that have no precise equivalent in English. For instance,

The Dutch word gezellig can be described as a cozy, communal feeling, like the warm sensation one has surrounded by good friends at a long meal, with the conversation flowing

Having that Dutch word added to my vocab feels like a really good thing to me.

1 thought on “Words…

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