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My Online Writings - 2004 - '07

Part 3
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Non-English social systems in English societies

Posted on: Jun 19 2004,

I believe that most Asian languages are very feudal; and possibly many European languages also have very strong personality contorting features, in them.

To put in a comparison, may I take the communication towards the British royal family? They have to be addressed and referred to in absolute feudal terms of respect. These terms are not the same as what is generally understood as respect in English language.

Now, taking the languages of say India, one may find that this feature come into play in almost all communications between persons. To put in a comparison, I would say that the communication over here is similar to addressing one’s boss as Your Majesty, Your Highness, Your Excellency etc. with a very clearly defined package of terms for each level of communication. Yet, the reply from the superior is not like in English; it is very clearly subjugating, with marked sense of disdain; and limiting of social communication.

Here the real difference is that this type of hierarchy does not come into play between persons in an English communication system.

Now, what is the problem?

In a clearly defined hierarchical structure, like in a family, this communication, if accepted by everyone, can bring in a very unintelligent, yet very effective regimentation, which can easily be misunderstood as discipline, by outsiders.

At the same time, just outside this social system, that is, here the family, this language program creates a grave situation of crippling communication.

Persons tend to keep off from others, by creating an artificial level of formal relationship, or else individuals can also arrange themselves in an enforced hierarchical social arrangement. For, in the outside world, the hierarchy is not clearly defined, and all individuals compete with most intangible techniques to corner the higher positions.

It is an environment of continuous competition. In an undefined social structure, many persons, who do not have attributes that certain other members, especially of the uneducated and lower class section, of society understand as superior, would feel disturbed by words and terms that may be seen to be rude and insulting. Actually everyone is a victim of this, and there is always a scene of simmering grudge against many others.

This system really is a very unstable and undynamic one, which carves for violent display of individual capacities. This is the real scenario in many non-English nations, including Asian ones, and possibly at least some European ones.

But, when these same families live in English social systems, retaining their native languages inside the confines of their houses, they may seem to display, a sort of, exemplary features. And they may not seem to display many of the ills of their native societies, like fragmentation and mutual antipathy. Why?

This is because these families really live in a medium that contains a perfect lubricant that enables their entire family system to function, in a beautiful frictionless environment, with others.

And, what is this lubricant?

This lubricant is the English language! In its absence, as the social and communication lubricant, feudal language social systems will almost certainly bring in disorder and disarray. Unless, there is clearly marked social structuring, which is not only enforceable, but also inflexible.

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