8.13.2010

Observation on Language

I've noticed over the past year or so a change in linguistic trend--a trend led by late-teen girls, but now spreading:

Whereas in earlier times people generally started appropriate sentences, "I think...," and somewhat less frequently, "I believe...," the same genre of people are now beginning their sentences by saying, "I feel like...."

It first popped into my head to write about this yesterday as I was watching Chloe and Kourtney Kardashian talk about something on their stupid show. But I've noticed it many times before.

The obvious interpretation is that we've finally entered an era where irrationality and "heart" are valued more highly than rationality and mind. I'm talking to you, Liberals.

3 comments:

Wishydig said...

on what do you base your claim that this is recent? or that it's mostly late-teen girls? in my experience with many similar claims about similar issues, neither is likely to be true. the "recency illusion" is all too familiar to me.

and that's a predictable interpretation, you offer, but it's too "sapir-whorf" if you ask me.

of course, i'm coming at this from my rational, and thoughtful linguistic perspective.

Casey said...

Ha! Well expressed! It really was just a feeling... keep in mind, I'm of the irrationalist-conservative school, with Glenn Beck, not with icy geniuses like Hayek and Mises.

I can't remember what sapir-whorf is, and I'm not going to google it.

Wishydig said...

a strong sapir-whorf view is the idea that thought relies on language and is controlled by the vocabulary we choose. strong=language controls thought

a weak sapi- whorf view is that language influences thought. that's much more reasonable. and there's evidence of that.

but to say that a phrase like "i feel" signals a change in our valuation of rationality vs intuition… that's just wishful thinking.

what is much more likely (if there is a change in usage) is that a phrase like "i feel" changes or adds a meaning. and it means the same thing "i think" means.