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Voices…

As I was walking back to my room after class today I kept thinking about the conversation we had about the voices in our head. The negative words that we have heard from others, or the ones we make up about ourselves that stay with us. They follow us where ever we go and they continue to evolve as we grow older. Why is it so hard to get them out of our heads, and why do they keep coming back? My answer is because we allow them to.

The mind is a very complicated object, but for a lot of us, we have control over our mind. We have the power to stop those voices or to let them continue to break us down. We have these conversations with ourselves. You are doing this to yourself. So it’s important that you don’t let the voices take control of your life. You have to find it within yourself to fight back.

Whenever I am having negative thoughts, I try to reason with myself. I question if my thoughts are rational or if I’m telling myself a bunch of bullshit. For me, it’s best when I carry on the conversation and try to work it out into a positive conversation, or at least come to terms with it. There are those recurring thoughts that don’t seem to go away, and at that point it’s time to make a change. My point is, is that being active helps. Actively thinking, or moving your body so that you don’t dwell.

I liked how in class we had this short conversation. It kept me thinking about the topic, and now I am blogging! The last week of classes are always hard weather you have one class or four classes. They are stressful because things are about to change, final assignments are almost due as well as your final grade. I think it’s easy to loose motivation and give in to those voices. Today’s class was very powerful because we discussed that we all share stressors, and we each have our ways of dealing with them.

The voices in your head

 

Globish

English language is taking over

English language is taking over

Globish is a term for 1,500 keys words that everyone can understand. This could be a good way to effectively communicate with people all over the world especially when it comes to international business. It would be a lot easier if we could communicate with each other if we all spoke the same language. But isn’t the beauty of language that we have so many different languages? In a way, it gives you an identity. It’s something that is unique to you, yet you can connect with other people who share this identity. So having a global language would take away from what makes a culture.

Why is it that English the dominant language? Henry Hitchings explains that English is symbolic of modernity, work, higher education, commerce, economics, and science and technology. Many people in other countries are learning English so that they can get a good job. To them, being able to speak English means they have opportunity for a better life.

Because of British colonialism, English first began to spread. Today, English continues to spread because it is in demand. Almost like a commodity, there is a need for people to speak and understand the English language. We want more English speakers and we will pay for them.

I think English has spread so rapidly also because we make the effort to expand our culture onto other cultures. We connect with all different parts of the world through business, volunteer work, war, and other ways that I can’t think of at the moment. There’s this notion that we want to be top dog, and that we want to have power. I believe this to be true, that we immerse our country into the affairs of other countries. We are trying to control what goes on in these other countries, so that they have to depend on us, or so they become our ally.

We could spend hours trying to piece together all of the reasons that English has become the global language. Why do you think English is so dominant? Do you think we should have a global language?

 

Learning Outcomes

Comp 250 has turned out to be very different than what I thought it was going to be like. I expected to be writing several typical research papers like in comp 1. Instead we have been blogging, having in depth class discussions, and presentations. I’ve had trouble blogging daily because I feel like I don’t know what to write about, and when I do start writing I run out of things to say or get bored of it. However, I do like that it is different, I haven’t had any other class do this and I doubt any of them will, and that is exciting.

Learning Outcomes

Rhetorical Knowledge: I understand how to read and write using rhetoric. Mainly I understand rhetoric in a social situation. This class gave me the awareness of how we use rhetoric in our daily lives, and that it doesn’t just pertain to a 5 page paper.

Critical Thinking: I made the most knowledge with this skill. Critical thinking is the most prevalent  in class and on our blogs. Every discussion takes us to another part of our brains where we make our own knowledge and form our own opinions instead of regurgitating facts. I have struggled with this the most because it is new to me. This skill will progress with me as I continue to grow as a scholar, and I think it will have a big impact when I become a teacher and hopefully a principal.

Writing Convention: The blogs have really expanded the way we write. Within the blogs we can include visual design to round out our writing.

 

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” -Rachel Zoe

I read this quote several times every week because it is posted on the bathroom wall at work. Out of all of the quotes that are on this poster, this quote speaks to me the most. I completely agree that the way you dress says a lot about you. It doesn’t say everything, but it says enough. Everyone says to look good for a first impression because we read each other by the outfit you choose, how it fits, if it coordinated…I could keep going on.

Every day when I get dressed I think about what I want to wear and the message I am trying to send with that outfit. Everyone goes through a thought process of what they want to wear and why- even the people who say they don’t care or just throw on the first thing they see. The message can be interpreted different ways depending on their knowledge of what that garment represents.

It’s funny that Durango has been voted as the worst dress city in America several times. Durango within itself has it’s own culture and I find that a lot of women struggle when choosing an outfit. I’ve had to help women pick out professional outfits, for example, for a conference in a bigger city. Professional in Durango is a nice pair of jeans, clogs, and a trendy top. In big cities, professional is slacks with a blazer, a sleek top, and heels. The social meaning of an outfit changes with the situation changes.

Tone of Voice Matters

I am writing this to get it off my chest. I am going to try and be very general and not name people/places so that this doesn’t come back to haunt me…

So this morning I’m commenting on Candice’s post about using words as weapons, and one of the things I said is that your tone of voice has a lot do with how words can hurt. As I’m writing this I called a doctor’s office to have them send something to my dad. The lady said that she couldn’t because of patient confidentiality. This irritated me because another office did it without any problem, but that’s beside the point. It was the way she said it to me. When she answered the phone she sounded uninterested and annoyed that she had to talk to someone on the phone. As I was talking to her she kept the same persona and did not try to help me.

There was more that I needed to say and ask her about, but I was so mad at the way she was talking to me that I hung up. She didn’t say any hurtful words, but it was all about the tone of her voice. Because of her tone, it made me feel stupid and like I was wasting her time. She should have sounded upbeat when answering the phone, she should have been compassionate when telling me no, and she should have been more pleasant during the whole conversation. When talking to patients/customers/clients you should always have a pleasant tone. Even if you have to fake it, I would NEVER intentionally use a negative tone with my customers. Good customer service is so hard to find nowadays…

Conquer English to Make China Strong: The Globalization of English

I didn’t read this entire article in Ch. 9 of language. After reading the first paragraph I feel like I have everything I need to know. There is this major spread of the English language that has been happening all over the world. English has become a second language in many countries. According to Henry Hitchings this is because of shipping, diplomacy, computing, medicine and education. Also because English is the language of business and popular culture.

The US is what it is because of immigrants. We have very diverse cultures all over the US that no other country has. Why is it that English is the most widespread language versus Chinese? If you look at the tag of almost every item you can purchase in a store, it says that it was made in China. China makes most of our imports yet Chinese isn’t a second language for us. I feel like it’s almost as if America wants it this way. We want to be the dominant culture. Anyone who knows how to use language has power. If the whole world can speak our language than we have power and control.

I know this might be a little extreme, but that’s what was going through my head. I would love to hear your opinion.

When the Media is the Disaster

Chapter 8 in Language talks about how words can hurt people. The first article discusses the news reporting that was done on the major earthquake in Haiti that happened a couple years ago. The media was describing some of the victims as “looters” because they were “stealing” food. Rebecca Solnit disagrees with this term, and argues that it is a bad description of these people.

Words cannot physically hurt but they resonate with us. I’ve always heard the saying to “choose your words carefully” and that’s because words are so easy to manipulate upon others. We have the capability of making emotions by using words in different contexts. We can make each other happy, sad, and mad all by choosing the right words at the right time.

At the end of the article Solnit ends with the opinion that “we live and die by words and ideas, and it matters desperately that we get them right.” By choosing the right words, the media could have saved lives by getting compassion from people to donate instead of accusing the victims of “stealing” when they are simply trying to survive. The media knows how to manipulate people with words which is almost always the case. They realize that they have power and know how to use words to get a desired response.

It matters that we get words right because we are dealing with actual people. Words can change people and what they think. What do you think about what Solnit meant by her quote?

Articles

As I am reading “The Concept of Discourse Communities” by John Swale, all I can think about is “what is this guy talking about?” His writing is very formal, and some of the words I have never heard of. Many times I had to re-read a sentence and look up words. I realize though that he is probably writing to other scholars who are also addressing this topic. His audience may have the same level of education as he does, and are also literary researchers. Obviously his readers know what he is talking about because I do not understand what he is trying to say in the way that he is writing it.

I do know that he is a professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His career has been focused on working with nonnative English speakers on strategies to help them succeed as readers and writers for the university. This clears up his purpose for writing this book. The reason I am reading this is not only because it was required, but because it will help me to be more aware and critically engaged when conversing with different groups. Swales is trying to teach us how to identify these “discourse communities” and respond appropriately. In other words, it matters so that you can affectively communicate with the people of certain groups.

I also started to read the article by Carolyn Miller and I felt the same as I did with John Swale. Our class discussion helped me understand what these professionals are trying to say. There are all these different rhetorical situations that we can categorize into genres and analyze them. When I am at work, I have to be professional. I have to dress a certain way, I have to be outgoing, and I can’t be lazy. In a different setting these characteristics will change according to the situation. If I was to act like I do at home at the work place, I would get fired, or have a serious intervention. For people who cannot recognize these differences in social settings, they will have a harder time receiving the response they are looking for.

The Future of the English Language

This is what typical conversations look like

This is what typical conversations look like

Chapter 4 of Language made me realize just how much we misuse the English language everyday. I consider myself to be a decent writer, and pride myself with the fact that I try to use proper grammar. I didn’t realize that I actually make frequent grammatical errors in my writing, and when I am having a face-to-face conversation. Basically, as we continue to misuse simple writing mechanics, eventually it sounds correct to the point that we are shifting from what’s proper grammar to what’s acceptable grammar. The book gives several examples of common errors. One of the examples that stood out to me the most, “I wish I was” or “if I was” instead up finishing with “were.” I honestly didn’t realize this was incorrect until I read this book. It’s one of the examples we would consider acceptable grammar since it is often used that way, and most people don’t know it’s incorrect.

Technology has dramatically changed the way speak to each other. Everyday we communicate through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or we text and email. There isn’t as much in person conversation like there was before technology advanced so much. We have also come up with new slang words that even the dictionary is adding like “LOL” and “OMG.” Language explains that “if tens of millions of people are using a word over a period of years, lexicographers put it into the dictionary”. We will continue to communicate through technology, and language will keep changing.

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