The Need For a Simplified Language

Barbara, Dominick A.
April 1957
Today's Speech;Apr1957, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p7
Academic Journal
This article points out the need for a simplified language. Who of us today has not been swayed by what goes on at gatherings we have attended? We all like to get together now and again for the purpose of sharing certain customs, wearing various regalia, marching in processions. We like to associate and identify with a particular group, to incorporate its traditions and philosophies into our own beliefs in order to give purpose to our way of life. In this, there is usually a leader who acts as the group mouthpiece and manages to communicate to us the feeling that he is saying something important, regardless of the words used or of what is being said. In such groups we rarely attempt to use our own critical powers or stop to assess the truth of what we hear. By some means of mass suggestion, we willingly mold ourselves in the group image. If the speaker should be a person of prominence in the community--a bank trustee, a college professor, a statesman and so on--we automatically assume that we can safely follow his judgments and pronouncements without bothering to use our own evaluative faculties. Before communication can have meaning, the speaker, the listener and the thing or object involved in the discussion must have a mutual relationship of some sort. To talk productively, the speaker must define his terms, know what he is talking about, and use his words as indicators or references to the basic content of his thought. A language to be meaningful must be simple; it must have clarity for both the speaker and the listener; it must be dynamic in process and flexible enough to change with the changing and differing natures of men.


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