General Language

General Language (Not in 1000 Years of Non-linear History)

1. Ludwig Wittgenstein
Perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, he transformed our conception of language. His masterpiece 'Philosophical Investigations' is essential reading for anyone interested in language. Trained as an engineer he was also interested in architecture and designed Stonborough House or alternatively known as the Wittgenstein House.

2. Religion and Language
Language plays an important role in many religious traditions; in many eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism language is seen to literally have a certain power, which is expressed in various rituals. In Tibetan Buddhism some teaching is only passed on orally because of the power of the spoken word. Also in many religious traditions a word can have seemingly magical powers, this is the concept behind chanting. In some Hindu teachings for example repeating a word can gain you good Karma and in Tibetan Buddhism the letter 'A' is said to have powers, and repeating the word or fixing your mind on it is used to perform different actions. In Christianity language is used to communicate with 'God' through prayer, while in the Vatican many services are still conducted in Latin because of the importance placed on the language. In Wicca language is used to conduct magic spells. In, the Pachamama tradition of the Inca people in South America, speaking to the land or even the weather is thought to be an effective tool.

3. Rules
Rules of how language can be used in a place can completely change its atmosphere and the way it is used. For example being bound to silence in Libraries changes how people use the space and how they communicate within it. Formal and informal spaces have unspoken rules on what language can be used within them, a crude example is that school children are less likely to swear in a classroom as they would when they are out in an informal space in the playground.

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