“Women are crazy”

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Okay really, how many times have you heard someone say this?

How many of you women have been called “crazy”?

Hasn’t happened to you? It doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening everywhere around you, check out the article “The Crazy Things Women Do” on AskMen.com. Or “Why Women are Crazy: A Men’s Guide by a Woman” on BroBible.com.

This is something that upsets me: that it is normal in our society to refer to women as crazy.

Definition of crazy in English:

adjective (crazier, craziest)

Mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.
Oxford Dictionaries
 

It has even been widely accepted by women. Crazy does not mean extreme or daring. To me, crazy relates to psychological disorder and it is offensive to put that on an entire sex. THAT is crazy.

Women, do not use this as an excuse. Do not let other people use it against you or to credit any behavior.

Dear Party People

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As a psychology major and nerd in general, my mind functions as such. I am extremely observant of others and what they talk about in particular.

Parties are always fun for me.

Oftentimes, I sit back and watch the debauchery unfold and the overall morality dissipate. A spilled drink and a scandalous rumor later, I make my way around the place, saying hello to my friends and  the people that I recognize.

I really wish that I didn’t just hear your whole story about so-and-so and what she did with what’s-his-face, but eavesdropping is just second nature for me and this is a mecca for it. Sure, there are plenty of things that I wouldn’t want others to hear, whether embarrassing or private, that a fellow eavesdropper has picked up. I am no better than these people because I know their secrets, I am a wallflower.

I’m not a typical wallflower; I don’t sit in dark corners and tune in. I talk a lot, I really do. I share my stories, my short comedies. But you won’t hear me telling secrets at a party.

The language in this type of setting is silly, unreal. People are spilling much like the stain all over the front of that guy’s shirt. People are full, tipping over, revealing all of their thoughts that are so bottled up during the day. Emotions are high, and these people are loud. Nothing that is said at a party is important enough to be yelled like that.

Cheers to you, spillers and fellow eavesdroppers alike.

The Toulmin Method

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A detailed guide to the Toulmin Argument: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/pdfs/guide58.pdf provided by Colorado State University

The Toulmin Method is a way of analyzing and evaluating an argument by breaking it up into 6 parts. These are the components of a persuasive argument. By separating these parts, we can improve individual parts of our arguments and identify the weak parts.

A Toulmin Argument is made up of 6 parts:

1. Claim

This is a statement that is offered to others. A statement that you are asking them to accept.

2. Grounds

This is the evidence or support that you will use to back your claim. This includes proof and the truth behind your argument.

3. Warrant

This is the link between the grounds and the claim. The warrant explains how the grounds are relevant to the claim and how it supports the claim.

4. Backing

Gives additional support to the warrant

5. Qualifier

Shows the strength between the data/evidence and the warrant. This includes words such as “most”, “sometimes”, “always”, and “never”.

6. Rebuttal

Answers the objection. The rebuttal is your chance to defend your argument when a person objects it. It is an argument in itself.

Psychology + Language = Psycholinguistics

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Psycholinguistics: “Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.”(Science Daily)

Graphic Interpretation of Psycholinguistics
Graphic Interpretation of Psycholinguistics

Yes, language surrounds us. It is how we translate our thoughts to others. It is a release of thought. This has everything to do with psychology, which is to me, the most interesting subject in the world. The mind created language, but how? How to we acquire language? How do our brains register something so complex at such a young age?

These questions intrigue me. Though I may not have the answers yet, the quest for knowledge is what guides me and keeps me interested.

There are two main perspectives that are involved in psycholinguistics and the development of human language:

1. Mentalist Theory

This theory suggests that language and syntax is a behavior built by conditioned response. This means that we hear language, we get a sense of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, and then we are able to repeat and recall this information. We have been subconsciously taught to use language by those who communicate around you at a young age. This relates to accent too, but that’s another discussion.

2. Innate View

This view holds that evolution of the mind and body shape language and explain why human language differs from other animals. The way that our tongues and vocal chords developed give way to our modern use of language.

Evolution of Man
Evolution of Man

 

The perspectives in psychology are very hard to side with because most people believe in a mix of views. It’s like philosophy in this way. There are always different sides and there are reasonable arguments for each side. In this case, I want to say that it is a mix between the innate and the mentalist view. If I had to choose one, I would pick the Mentalist Theory. I believe that humans function under conditioned response. They see or do something and they learn from that process. They hear certain words and attach a meaning onto them, thus developing vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.

Language is immensely important in the field of psychology. Whether that be the language that is used in the subject or how psychology and the human brain affects language.

Sex and Gender. What’s the Difference?

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Last night, I was reading the article “Let’s Talk about Gender, Baby” by Wendy Kaminer from the text Language: A Reader for Writers. The main point it hits on is how we, as a society, use gender as an adjective to suggest certain cultural norms of masculinity and femininity. As a sociological thinker, I read this and got worked up, yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading the entire article.

A point that resonated with me:

“Equally irritating is our conflation and sex and gender. In a society that vacillates between Puritanism and permissiveness, there are obvious reasons to avoid using the word sex. People fear that it arouses prurient interest by recalling what teenagers do in the backseats of cars or what hookers do in the front. But in addition to various acts, sex refers to the biological categories male and female; gender refers to (or used to refer) to cultural norms of masculinity and femininity. To say that you’re a member of the female sex is simply to say that you’re a woman. To say that you’re a member of the female gender is to say that you behave the way a woman is supposed to behave.” (Page 139, Language: A Reader for Writers)

This is a common misconception in our society. I did a little experiment on Google Images. I searched the words “male” and “masculine” separately, and then “female” and “feminine”. I reviewed the differences in the images.

When I searched “male”, there were several pictures of boys, but most of them consisted of lots of muscle and super fit men. When I searched “masculine”, it was even more out of control. The entire page was filled with very attractive, shirtless men. I’m sitting in the library, so this experiment is looking pretty strange to everyone around me.

“Male”
“Masculine”

 

The female side was a bit different. I searched “female” and there were women of all colors and were far more clothed than their male counterpart. Yes, most of the pictures were of Wonder Woman and many half-dressed women, but it was still a more accurate representation of my gender than “male”. But when I searched “feminine”, I was disgusted. It was all pink, women in wedding dresses, fairies, and “tramp stamps”

“Female”

 

"Feminine"
“Feminine”

 

“Feminine”

 

It’s interesting to see how these words have completely different connotations. We use “sex” and “gender” interchangeably, when they actually have completely separate technical meanings. Just some food for thought.

My Reading List

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While skimming the Table of Contents in Language: A Reader for Writers, we are directed to select ten readings and explain why we chose them in connection to our major. As a Psychology major, I looked for key words that link to thought and mental development. Most of these readings refer to language and the importance in society or to an individual, which it right up my alley. I looked for more individual relations to language and the human brain and to human behavior.

  • “How Does Language Shape the Way We Think?” Lera Borodistsky (Page 2)

This suggests that language has a huge part in shaping how we think, react, and behave, which is a building block of psychology.

  • “Language and Thought” Susanne Langer (Page 12)

Again, “thought” was a key word I looked for, it is the direct relation to psychology.

  • “Which is the Best Language to Learn?” Robert Lane Greene (Page 40)

The culture around a certain language leads to different ways of thinking and alters how we develop mentally.

  • “This Embarrasses You and I” Sue Shellenbarger (Page 105)

Informal grammar and the use of slang creates a different environment in the workplace, which changes how employees think about their jobs.

  • “Let’s Talk About Gender, Baby” Wendy Kaminer (Page 138)

Being a member of either sex suggests that we behave like that sex, which is a common misconception of the use of sex in language.

  • “Why Being a Jerk at Work Pays” Amy Reiter (Page 141)

Personality traits are that are desirable in a man in the workforce are not in a woman; people believe a woman is being “bossy” when they would say that the man is “driven” or “argumentative”

  • “Don’t Call Me Homophobic: The Complexity of ‘That’s So Gay'” Mark McCormack (Page 150)

The use of language can alter the way that society as a whole views a controversial topic, such as homosexuality.

  • “‘Kinetic’ Connections” Neal Whitman (Page 225)

Not quite sure what this reading is just by reading the small excerpt, but I chose it believing that it states how movement and the use of movement in words can create different thoughts.

  • “Words as Weapons” Susan Benesch (Page 245)

Language can create anger and violence, depending on how they are used. Ultimately, words affect thought, which affects behavior and action.

  • “Why Personhood is Powerful” Mark Peters (Page 265)

The word “person” produces particular thoughts and feelings. How do we extend these feelings to non-humans?

Sunshine

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I walked into class today and immediately felt a sense of anxiety. Sure, I get that feeling often, but it doesn’t discredit this instance. Anna Chambers, who had also missed class on Monday, moseyed into the classroom with me. We looked at each other and I knew we both had the same thought. Where is the rest of the class? It was five minutes before class started, but still. Anyways, I asked Bill where we were supposed to be and he told me that we were meeting in the Student Union. I was excited to see what we were doing for class today.

We all went outside and enjoyed the morning sunshine. I decided it was best to sit in the shade.

 

Page One of Notes

Bill told the class that we were going to do two things today:

  • Enjoy campus (“Education does not need to be mean” – Bill Mangrum)
  • Look over people’s blogs and observe the things that Bill likes or dislikes about them. Look at what can be improved upon.

Moving on to the notes that I took during this class. These include the people’s names and the parts of their blog that can be improved, the parts that deserved recognition, and various side notes.

Cory Saxon’s blog:

  • The header needs to be as follows: First name, last name (space) middle initial. A period needs to follow the middle initial.
  • The header picture is too big. Use the editing guidelines that the site provides for sizing. (We are encouraged to make our own personal blog if we want to toggle with these things)

Caitlin Gaffney’s blog:

  • The picture used as a header was the right size
  • She bolded the right words to create emphasis (“Be Prepared”)
  • Great use of bullet points
  • Be specific and consistent with organization and word choice
  • It was made clear to DATE OUR NOTES (“Notes are an authoritative record of what we witnessed” – Bill Mangrum)

Kennedy Clark’s blog:

  • She had the right sized header photo
  • She didn’t delete her sample page, so Bill told us how to do so (Click dashboard, pages, all pages, delete sample page)
  • Side note- we should delete our sample page, but create an “About Me” page in exchange. It should be no more than 50 words and it should be written professionally to link to our major

 

Page Two of Notes

Anna Chamber’s blog:

  • It was noted that she changed her theme
  • Her last post was on September 19th, and she made it a point that she needed to go back and edit some of her posts
  • Side note- how to use ellipses. There must be a space between the last word and between every period. (Example: I really hate bananas . . .)

Dylan Malewska’s blog:

  • His post was titled “Note tastic”, Bill mentioned that we should feel free to play around with words, even creating our own
  • Side note- If we do create our own words, we must pay particular attention to spelling, spacing, and punctuation

Jessie Murillo’s blog:

  • Organization. We should include the date, class and section, and indicate which page of our notes that we are recording so that we can find them easily later
  • Side note- This attention to detail in organization may not seem important, but it is when “you are a scholar speaking to other scholars” (Mangrum)
  • Side note- BE CONSISTENT. Mike Palmeri is majoring in graphic design. Bill used him as an example, stating that if you are a graphic designer and you are designing a logo for a company, you MUST be consistent to land the job or project.

Austin Pierpont’s blog:

  • Austin titled his “About Me” section “In Case You Wanted to Know”. He included three paragraphs and bullet points.
  • To further the depth of our blog, we should hyperlink the department page on our “About Me” page when talking about our majors.

 

Page Three of Notes

Dillon Well’s blog:

  • The ellipses point was readdressed
  • Side note- if we need help with punctuation or citations, we should go to either https://owl.english.purdue.edu/ or refer to the text Easy Writer from our COMP 150 class
  • When inserting a picture, we should hyperlink and title the hyperlink (Something I am still working on)
  • Also, when using pictures, use a caption

The remaining blogs that we reviewed hit points that I have previously addressed, so I will not include those.

 

Page Four of Notes

Things to have ready for class on Friday:

  • Spend 1 hour and 30 minutes looking over (NOT reading) the text Language
  • Look at the Table of Contents in Language and select 10 readings that we feel connect with our major
  • First, we should write about 3-4 sentences explaining what we were looking for in this book while making our selection of readings
  • With these 10 readings, we must write one sentence for each reading stating why we chose this reading (The description should be under the bulleted reading)
  • The list should be titled “My Reading List” and should be around one page, MLA
  • The last thing we must do is spend 30 minutes getting our blogs up to date

 

Super side notes and random tangents from class:

  • Mercy eating – When something is about to spoil or melt, EAT IT
  • A goal for class: improve writing, doing academic research, focusing on the use of language in our major

 

 

 

 

Bloggin’ Experience

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In all honestly, I love keeping up with this blog.

Yes, sometimes I fall behind, but that isn’t because I don’t enjoy writing in my blog. It is somewhat of an open assignment and we are free to use it how we want.

A few years back, my mom won Best Blog of Northwest Arkansas. Super exciting for her, but I made fun of her a bit. Her obsession with blogging was a joke to me. Since I’ve been writing in this blog, I’ve wanted to create my own personal blog. I can see why it was one of my mother’s hobbies. That’s a little embarrassing to admit.

So all in all, this has been a great learning experience for me. It keeps us connected with fellow scholars and it is a place for us to share our ideas, criticism, and ideas openly. I like that a lot. It has brought a sense of togetherness with the class even when we’re not all physically in class.

I love reading other people’s comments and seeing how each of our own ideas can spark an entire discussion. I also like that we can go back and edit our blogs to make them more scholarly. It doesn’t have to end when you press “publish”.

In fact, I’ll probably come back to this and add some flair to make this a multimodal post. For now, we can all drown in my linguistics.

So What? Good Question.

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While reading the text So What?, I hit a specific spot that caught my interest.

On pages 71-73, the author discusses cigarette advertisement. It is important to read deeper into the warnings on cigarette packaging as well. They mention how certain images or typeface are used to attract a targeted audience, mainly a younger audience.

One of my oldest friends, Savannah Brick, worked on a farm in Canada for six months. She was a heavy smoker when she left, but cut back when she got there due to the extreme prices of cigarettes and the more negative view of smoking.

She brought back a pack, and the first thing I noticed was that the entire front side of the pack displayed a disturbing image of a woman with mouth cancer. This image stuck with me, and I thought, “no wonder these people don’t smoke as much, they are constantly reminded of the consequences”.

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Canada is known for their impressive health care system and the overall health of the population. America, on the other hand, is known for turning anything into a profit. This includes the tobacco market. They are selling us our own poor health and the are making a hell of a fortune doing it.

Various disturbing images on cigarette packaging.
Various disturbing images on cigarette packaging.

 

Call Me Sylvia Plath

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Writing about blogging in a blog makes my head spin. Yet here I am, blogging away, trying to make sense of what I am supposed to accomplish here. I hope you’re as confused as I am. Actually, no I don’t.

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Me in a state of confusion.

The article, “11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Posts Needs” offered many helpful points for me. I thought that some of the “ingredients” were a little repetitive or obvious, but I have to think about the audience here. I am not the entire audience, and even though some points seemed silly to me, they could be extremely important to another reader. For instance, the point to write damn good sentences. Of course I’m going to write damn good sentences, or at least try to.

The article treated blogs as stories, seducing the reader with internal cliffhangers and a sense of plot and resolution. I liked this. Still, as I sit here typing until the end of time, I realize that I am not actually using the very tools that the article discusses in this blog post. This is a challenge. Sure, I can pick apart a text and write a 30 page essay on it, but actually using the tools that the article discusses is something that I haven’t done.

So bear with me, we’re all learning here. Bill mentioned several times that if we are confused, then we are actually learning. I’m trying my best to believe this right now.

Okay, back to reality! When I was reading my fellow scholars’ blogs, I was entertained. I loved seeing how they all took pieces from Writer/Designer and just went with it. It sparked my imagination and I thought about several of their points hours after reading. Now I can’t get it out of my mind. Everywhere I go, everything I see, magazines, road signs, logos on t-shirts, article titles, juice bottle labels, I can’t stop thinking about the modes and how they are being used. In the past, I have just scanned over these things, unnoticed. But now, “why did that restaurant choose that color and font to represent their business? Why did Nike choose the swoosh? What does it mean? Damn, that is a fantastic logo, they did a really great job at grabbing my attention.” I am disgusted and intrigued by this. My brain can’t merely look past these things now.

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My brain hurts from analyzing every detail, images, colors, word choice, movement, tone of voice, clothing, and how it all communicates a certain message. So thank you, COMP 250, now I will go stick my head in the oven.

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