01 October 2009

Linguistics in Culture

Take one: In my Eastern European Studies class we were recently talking about how myths, legends and superstitions impact the local. A girl in my group commented that already Slovakia has already started to check their language after only 16 years away from the Czech Republic. Previously we had identified that language was a key factors in establishing identity.

Add in two: In my Communications class we talked about how cultures are formed in organizations.

Blend them together: Cultures, in and out of organizations, often form their own languages, or at least their own sayings and lingo. This language helps to strengthen the bond of the culture and creates a sense of belonging.

Take a step back: I recently called our corporate office about an issue with our order processing. During the conversation I blurted out an acronym we use to describe the order process. The corporate guy didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. I said it again thinking I misspoke. I hadn’t. We had in our short four years of existence created a unique diction that even our corporate office didn’t understand. Result: Cultures develop their own unique diction to protect their unique identity, identify outsiders and insiders, feel special and communicate quickly about things important to the culture.

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