"Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for a dominant group. This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups."
— Patricia Hill Collins (via coffeyunplugged)
"in our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things"
— Edna O’Brien, Sister Imelda (via douce—amere)
"In the Times article, the phrase “sexual assault” is used, as is the phrase “the girl had been forced to have sex with several men.” The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim. That is not the careful use of language. Language, in this instance, and far more often than makes sense, is used to buffer our sensibilities from the brutality of rape, from the extraordinary nature of such a crime. Feminist scholars have long called for a rereading of rape. Higgins and Silver note that “the act of rereading rape involves more than listening to silences; it requires restoring rape to the literal, to the body: restoring, that is, the violence—the physical, sexual violation.” I would suggest we need to find new ways, whether in fiction or creative nonfiction or journalism, for not only rereading rape but rewriting rape as well, ways of rewriting that restore the actual violence to these crimes and that make it impossible for men to be excused for committing atrocities and that make it impossible for articles like McKinley’s to be written, to be published, to be considered acceptable.
An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men. The suspects ranged in age from middle-schoolers to a 27-year-old. There are pictures and videos. Her life will never be the same. The New York Times, however, would like you to worry about those boys, who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. That is not simply the careless language of violence. It is the criminal language of violence."
THE CARELESS LANGUAGE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
BY ROXANE GAY
Yet even in this quote the use of passive voice sort of blunts the message she’s trying to convey. “The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim” instead of “The author used the word “rape” only twice and not really in connection with the victim.” “An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men” instead of “Eighteen men raped an eleven-year-old girl.” It would make her own words stronger if she named the agent in active voice, something I never see in articles or blogs about rape.
(Source: piscula, via feministquotes)
"Men and women differ in their language patterns; for example, research suggests that men interrupt women more than women do men (a finding that surprises most men but not most women)."
Analyzing English Grammar, Klammer, Schulz, & Della Volpe, p. 21
you guys my grammar book is sassy
(Source: katyrex, via agirlcalledchris)
"It is an interesting sidelight that our language - created and codified by men - does not have one unflattering term to describe men who vent their anger at women. even such epithets as ‘bastard’ and ‘son of a bitch’ do not condemn the man but place the blame on a woman - his Mother!"
— Harrier Lerner (via dracofidus)
"In Rome a vagina is una fica, a term deriving from the fig, a great thing, a delightful gift, a ribboned fruit. Among young Romans, the expression fica is a way to convey something extraordinarily good, akin to “cool.” They even make it into a superlative—fichissimo, meaning that something is the “cuntest” and very good indeed. Una fica is not only a sexually attractive woman, it is anything worthy of possession or experience. Imagine an American guy saying: “Wow, that is so vagina!” You can’t."
— (via talisman)
(Source: boysenberrybenz, via grebnekkah)
Every language has its own version of um. French has euh, Korean eum, Finnish öö, Russian eh; even sign languages have signs for um. The fact that most languages have some kind of um suggests that it serves a natural and important language function.
So what is this important language function? Why do people say um? Not because they are nervous. Scholarly studies of the word reveal that the use of um does not correlate with anxiousness or any particular personality traits. Rather, um is used to signal an upcoming pause—usually uh for a short pause and um for a longer pause. The pause may be needed in order to find the right word, remember something temporarily forgotten, or repair a mistake. Um holds the floor for us while we do our mental work. It buys some time for thinking.
— Read the full text here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/50173/when-and-why-did-people-start-saying-um-when-they-talk#ixzz2R13HfDuP
—brought to you by mental_floss! (via mjlogue)
"Don’t fool yourself. English isn’t inherently superior, or easier to learn, or more sonically pleasing. Its international usage comes from forceful assimilation and legacy of colonialistic injection. It isn’t a deed that one should take pride in."
my uncle left this comment on his friend’s Facebook status, a white British man who was bragging about how easy it is to be a native English speaker when trekking to different nations. (via maarnayeri)
I used to think this too until I took a Spanish class. One of my classmates is multilingual - he grew up in India and English was his 3rd language, Spanish his 6th. He said that English was one of the easiest languages to learn and believed that’s one of the reasons it’s a universal language. It kind of blew me away, actually.