What power does language have



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In order to discuss and identify what power language has in today’s world, it is important to first define what ‘language’ means to an individual, because the words people use to tell a story or make a point “tell a story of their own” (Take back the language: words tell a story of their own. Keith M. Woods. ) Therefore what language means to someone might have a completely different meaning to someone else, thus the answer as to what power language has will change depending on who is asked.

However the points and connections made in this essay focus on religion and reflect the idea that language is any system of formalized symbols, signs, sounds, gestures that are conceived as a means of communication thought or emotion Language itself operates in many different aspects in our world today and has played a remarkable role in social interactions through its influential power on society.

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Influential power is mainly evident in religion, advertising and the media because each social development forms a sudden desire for safety or acceptance within an individual because it influences us to behave, think, dress or adopt opinions that we can share with others. When discussing religion one most consider the opposing views of the varied beliefs and practices involved in different religions. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all written, pronounced, interpreted in different ways, which is what has caused so much conflict and misconception in the world today.

The power that the words in the Bible serve to Christians is equally important to words in the Quran for Muslims. Yet some people tend to interpret a message in their holy book in an entirely different way then a different person who has read the same extract. This is why language has so much power and always has because people have always used the words and the meanings in their holy book to protect themselves or make a point. If the words are written in that book then it must be right, because what an individual understands from what he reads is how he is going to live and pray.

One of the most controversial and modern day issues surrounds the status of women in Islam, and the many different perspectives in the Muslim World as to what role gender plays in a persons worth in terms of position, potential, status, and constitution. Forcing women to cover in order to prevent attention from men in the western world is seen as unethical. From the viewpoint of someone in Saudi Arabia, one could argue that he doesn’t want to share his wives beauty with other men, thus making her his possession.

The fact that people have many different reasons as to why they cover their wives and daughters justifies that the words in the Quran have had a very powerful affect on each of them, yet they have all interpreted the same words very differently. A quote from the Quran is “If you don’t live as you believe then you begin to believe as you live” its words like these that should have a powerful affect on Muslim women, causing them to stand up for their rights and position in the Muslim world.

Religion wasn’t created to separate the world into strong and bias systems causing so much hate amongst countries, it started as a means of bringing people together as one, yet the words that were passed down and rewritten by so many people is what has caused conflict between the varied interpretations of the words and rules of each religion. The main conflict in my world is the misinterpretation of statements and rules in the Quran that surround the topic of women and men.

As a result women around the world are punished and insulted for things that men believe God wants them to do, from the words they read in the Quran. Therefore some of the passages in the Quran can be identified as connotations, having different meanings to different people. Although it is acceptable to perceive or read something differently than someone else, it is not acceptable to apply what you understand from the words you read to people who have the freedom to chose what they wear and if they get educated.

In reference to the Quran, “O Humankind! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created humanity out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women. And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand [your rights] from one another, and [reverence] the wombs [that bore you]. Verily, God is ever watchful over you! (4:1)” (http://www. parvez. com/islam_quran_articles.

asp) This statement can have so much power over someone, to make them interpret this by believing that men can demand their rights from women, whereas the women must only abide to them. The idea that the source of all human creation is one living entity is written in the Quran yet men have more rights than women in Islam, is contradictory to the biblical understanding that men were created first and that women were created for men, yet in the western world they are equals. Therefore this verse from the Quran is stating that men and women have the same status and equal potential to do good and evil.

Through the interpretation of what has been seen so far from the Quran it is already difficult to comprehend how words can evoke different connotations. Therefore although language has power in many different aspects in the world today, it is almost impossible to discuss and interpret the many ways language can manipulate, motivate, influence, help, and inform us of the many events and conflicts that shape how our world works and what we hear, say, write, read and interpret not only affects us as an individual but leaves a mark in society.

Therefore language has a very strong relationship with power in terms of how people interpret, follow and share what they understand from religions system of formalized symbols, signs, sounds, gestures that are conceived as a means of communication, thought or emotion passed down by the profits that are the main characters in religions history. Sources 1. ) http://www. parvez. com/islam_quran_articles. asp.

This website was the main source that I got my information from, I decided to analyse and interpet an article based on religion rather than the article given in class. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

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