Listening Lubricates Language

It’s not that language is not logical, it’s just not mathematically logical like we often expect. An example of this is double negatives. At least 75% of the world’s languages use double negatives, and all forms of English except for “standard” English use them. There’s nothing wrong with them, and even I would say that the double negative emphasizes intended meaning. They don’t actually create very many misunderstandings.

Other examples of language that lubricates discourse are the utterances “yeah, no”, “Yeah, yeah, yeah”, and “No, no, no”. These can be compared to someone clearing their throat, or talking louder as to talk over someone. People who tend to use these language devices often perhaps have a strong desire to talk. But who am I to suggest that the world needs more listeners?

People say these things a lot. They’re slid in there quickly, subconsciously, but they’re there. Just listen.

Link to the first post in this series is here.


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