the hocus pocus of phonemes on your life

Language is incredible. Strictly speaking, it is the process of conveying ideas and information. It is ambiguous, changing, expressive, yet structured and adherent to basic blocks. Animals can communicate with each other, even plants communicate through neurotransmitters sent out through their bodies, yet humans have gone beyond other creatures with language. Within words and phrases, we can express entirely fascinating thoughts, in such nuanced ways! When humans grow attached to animals, it is often because they can understand how that creature is feeling or desiring. Not too many people care about lamps, but creatures such as dogs can display emotions that we relate to.

Furthermore, even when we don’t realize it, we judge people based upon their language use. Education and socioeconomic status have been so tightly knit together throughout history, we assume those who are rich are able to speak more effectively. One of my favorite movies as a child was My Fair Lady, with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, in which a snobby misogynistic linguist trains a poor cockney flower girl to speak like a duchess to win a bet. By the end of the movie (spoiler alert), Hepburn’s character manages to convince a linguistic expert at some fancy ball that she is royalty from a foreign land. I loved it because the whole “experiment” showed that there was nothing defining the rich from the poor except how they held themselves, and the only reason they could hold themselves that way was because they had the time and resources to learn to do so. 

If we can communicate well, we are better adapted to succeed in our social connections, and can use those social connections to be better at our jobs. However, in order to become effective communicators, we need education. In order to receive high quality and quantity education, we need money. In order to get money, we need to have high paying jobs, ones that say, are dependent on knowing the right people and having the right social connections. There’s absolutely other factors involved, but language is one of the main dividing barriers between class. Beyond class issues, language can improve your cognitive ability to process complex issues. 
Don’t underestimate the power of language. Learn, read, try to expand your vocabulary! Knowledge is power. If you feel like you can’t express yourself, look through the dictionary until you can.  If you want to be better at life, learn how to communicate with the humans around you. 

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