#AyuhAloha Claire’s poem!

#AyuhAloha Claire's poem!

We stayed up that night,
That night we were together.
I knew something was wrong,
and I know you could feel it too.
Caught up in our memories,
We let emotions flare;
We fought, clawing
at each other’s vulnerability.
By the time I knew it,
We were completely disconnected.
It was the hardest night of my life.
And when I woke up,
Eyes opening from the consuming
Blackness of despair
You were gone and I was left alone.
I need a way to heal these wounds;


Language as a Way of Knowing: Introduction

2. Quote reflections

“The word is half his that speaks, and half his that hears it”- Michel de Montaigne

This quote resonates with me for it is clear, concise, and makes a lot of sense. Often times (this happened just this morning too) a person says a string of words, yet the person who the words have been directed at does not pick up the same string of words. Through this process, the messages of words and thoughts can be easily morphed. Although the person who initially said the words felt they were conveying a certain message, it is up to the person that hears the words to comprehend them. Often times, this misunderstanding just prompts the listener to ask the person to repeat what they had said. However, there are certainly times when a lear message is received, yet the message received was not the message intended.

Above is a link is a link to an article with a video where a miscommunication creates a hilarious graduation cake mishap. The order was for a “graduation cap” yet the person making the cake created a “graduation cat.” This supports the premise which states that words are partly the person who states it, and half the person who hears it.


“Language was the real innovation in our biological evolution; everything since has just made our words travel faster or last longer” – Steven Pinker

This quote seems to hold true for if one thinks about it, a lot of the technology invented today is for the purpose of allowing humans to communicate with each other. At this moment, Apple and various technological companies are working furiously to construct the best cellular device. which are devices to allow society to connect. Furthermore, there are projects nowadays that are trying to conserve dying languages, which supports the statement that “everything since has just made our words… last longer.”

The link above is a link to a project which attempts to record and sustain dying languages. This further supports the statement that humans are innovating in order to make our words last longer.


4. Blog Questions

How would you try to explain to a blind person what the word RED means? What does this suggest to you about the limitations of definitions?

  • I would explain to the blind man what the word red means in scientific terms, explaining it in terms of electrons, energy drops and wavelengths. However, I do not feel this satisfactorily describes the color, which shows the extent to which language is a limit when one is not defining a concrete object.
  • The link above is a video of a blind man explaining color

To what extent is your use of languages accompanied by images? Does every word conjure up an image or only some of them?

  • I feel when I try to describe an object, I tend to imagine the object I am trying to describe in order to get a better description. However, when I speak academically, I tend to use words which are harder to imagine and therefore do not picture images. Furthermore, when I am speaking at something close to a debate, I often make up my words on the fly so I do not have the luxury or time to come up with the pictures. When speaking, I enjoy being able to picture the words I am using, but often times find I either do not pay attention to them or cannot since my only goal is to project words out of my mouth.

Do you think communication would be improved if we got rid of vague words?  DO you think vague or ambiguous words sometimes serve a purpose?

  • When one is attempting to convey a message, vagueness is often frowned upon, so I suppose communication would be improved if vague words were not used. However, I feel without vague words it would curb the ability of the human to be creative and have leeway on certain subjects. Language is often up to the listener to interpret, and without vague words there would be less room for interpretation. Interpretation and imagination are what make the human race so great, and if we curb our ability to interpret and imagine, we would not be doing ourselves any favors.

Many jokes are based on ambiguity…can you give an example?

  • Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  • Yes… so more punny than ambiguous but I often find puns to be derived from ambiguity

What would be the advantages  and disadvantages of everyone in the world spoke a common language? What would be gained and what would be lost?

  • Language is one of the ways which societies differentiate themselves from one another, creating individual societies that are unlike any other. The words cultures have developed, the language they use on a regular basis all are a comment upon the values and viewpoint of the cultures. We have so many words that we cannot express through a single word, while other countries have a word to describe it just so. Although I feel a better international understanding can be reached if we were all to speak the same language, the cost of this new understanding would be to lose the culture and values of the societies which inhabit our world.

What kind of texts do you think are easy to translate from one language to another and what kinds are more difficult? Can you provide an example from your study of L’Etranger by Camus?

  • I feel the Western languages are easier to translate into each other, for I feel the ideals of the countries are similar, and thus the words they choose to use are relatively similar. On the other hand, I feel a translation from Eastern to Western or vice versa are harder, for the ideals of the cultures are different, and the words they choose to express their feelings differ as well. Since I do not speak French, a comparison between the translated version and the French version of L’Etranger is exceptionally difficult for me, but according to Mr. Murray, Matthew Ward has done a spectacular job.


5. Comments on 4 Videos:

Stephen Fry kinetic typography

  • I found this video very interesting, for I really enjoy Stephen Fry’s voice and his opinions. Although I feel I fit the definition of a grammar Nazi, for in my head I recognize grammatical errors and the like, since I do not express these concerns every time I see them, I do not feel I am the typical Grammar Nazi. Although Stephen Fry bashes the Grammar Nazi, I still found his viewpoints interesting as I feel they are significant to the world today. With the new technologies we are developing, a change in language is not necessarily a bad thing, and perhaps we need to embrace it.

Stephen Fry Discussion Swear Words

  • This video was interesting as well, for it brought up the point that perhaps we have chosen our swear words incorrectly. We seem to use the words with the worst meanings in everyday conversation, yet when it comes to the pride and joy of the human race we deem the words used to describe them as inappropriate. It makes me wonder if perhaps we should reconsider the swear word and really understand what we are saying and doing.

Twitter is the newest form of literature

  • This video was interesting for it touched upon the use and growth of social media. Not only is social media a place where people can connect, humans are not using it more and more as an alternative source for literature. I found this intriguing for it brought up the point that social media such as Twitter can now be viewed as the newest form of literature, showing that perhaps there is other room for social media to grow.

The Birth of a Word – from Gaga to Water

  • I found this video interesting not just because of its premise but due to its findings. It was interesting to see the man track a small baby to find out where language is learned. Not only was the idea of the experiment interesting, his results were interesting as well. It was intriguing to think that the first words learned were learned in the kitchen. Also, it is interesting to think that babies learn words out of need, for the kitchen is where babies need things the most. Perhaps this is what led to the baby learning the words.




Touch and Sound Articles

Touch Articles

1. The Cutting Edge of Haptics

  • New technologies are being invented in order to trick to the human mind that a completely flat surface actually has a variety of textures.
  • If technology can influence what we touch, how do we know what we are touching is really what we are touching?

2. Touch Illusions

  • There are a variety of different ways to fool the sense of touch; whether is it done by crossing some fingers or plunging one’s hands into water, the mind is able to alter what we feel.
  • To what extent is touch a physical sense or a matter of the mind?

3. 10 Psychological Effects of a Nonsexual Touch

  • Here we see that strategic touching can alter the person being touched’s mind; hence, touch can be used as not only a sensory tool but a tool for convincing others as well.
  • To what extent are we unconsciously influenced by touch?

4. Kissing Device Lets You Send a Long-Distance Smooch

  • Basically, there is a device that allows one to transmit a kiss online to a partner far away.
  • With developing technology, to what extent to humans need the company of other humans?

5. A Touch of Understanding; Gene Tweak Opens Sensory Black Box

  • Scientists openly acknowledge the complexity of the sense “touch.”
  • How do new advances in research show the extent to which humans crave knowledge?

6. Dating With Science

  • According to science, a simple touch is sometimes all one needs to make someone more attracted to them.
  • How much of a relationship is based upon unconscious touch?


Sound Articles

1. The Cocktail Party Effect

  • As humans, we are very good at filtering what we hear; however, sometimes this can lead to missing what we were filtering out consciously or unconsciously.
  • To what extent is what we hear dependent upon what we want to hear?

2. How Does Sound Affect Creativity

  • The volume of sound we are surrounded by can influence our creativity and productivity both positively and negatively.
  • How can we use knowledge to increase productivity?

3. The Sound of Taste

  • Researchers have found that the sounds we experience while eating has a large effect on the experience of the food.
  • To what extent are our sense interconnected?

4. “The Medium is the Massage”: A Kitchen Sink of Sound

  • The sounds used in movies can have a great effect upon the audience; skilled directors use sound to make the audience feel… feelings.
  • To what extent is a movie in the pictures or the sound?

5. Beethoven’s Deafness Influences His Music

  • Beethoven’s deafness may have helped him compose his various pieces; based on what he could hear when his pieces were played, he chose to compose his songs in different tones.
  • How are we influenced consciously or unconsciously by sound?

6. World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive

  • In this vast world exists an archive of thousands of sounds; nature’s instrument?
  • To what extent does technology help us organize and sustain information?


Language and Color

Does language affect color? We shall see…

So the goal of this project was to see if language affects color perception. In order to test this, I asked various students at LJA who speak a language other than English to read a list of words in their other language and to tell me the first color that pops into their head after reading it. I wanted to see if language changes the way people have various connotations about words.

It was interesting to see so many overlaps of colors, for 3 out of 5 words had at least two people saying the same color. However, that also means a vast majority of the people had different connotations of the word. Thus, it could be followed that perhaps language does influence how a person views a word.