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Do you know how many words for love had the Ancient Greeks?

Credit: The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli c. 1485–1486 , Wikipedia



Our language defines the limits of our soul

The more we engage our minds with something, the better we fathom the depths of it, its infinity. We expand our understanding about something and when we reach its momentary limits we define it, we coin a word. Thus, we materialize our consciousness and mark its achievements for future generations. Our thoughts, our perception of the world, our actions, are in direct causal link with the language we have in use. As the Austrian-British philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein once said: "The limits of my language define the limits of my world." Well, it seems that ancient Greeks had a lot more interest in the different forms of love than us because these are not only synonyms but words of various perspectives towards the phenomenon of love. What about our contemporary culture? Which are the concepts that we develop the most? It's a pretty long topic, that we could discuss some other time. However, you could ponder over it and share your thoughts with us.

Below you can take a look at the richness of Ancient Greek concepts for one of the most important aspects of what we call humane.

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The Phenomenon of Language explained

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What is language?

Language is the most common, natural, and constitutional phenomenon among human beings and at the same time one of the greatest mysteries that we have developed. Everyone uses it. Even small children at the age of two are already able to produce language. It is so intrinsic to us that we cannot imagine our life, culture, or let's say, modern world without verbal language. However, language is not only about words and sentences, but rather about sharing ideas and meaning through different forms of signs, which could be visual, sonic, tactile, etc.

Here you can enjoy a lecture from Steven Pinker, renowned linguist and Harvard Psychology Professor:
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The Secret Troves of Etymology

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Etymology of the word Electricity

Have you ever wondered, which are the origins of the word Electricity? Is it coined especially for its modern usage? Had it been applied for other meanings in the past, as is the case with many other terms? My experience with searching the meaning and origins of words shows that the more common and used is a word in everyday conversations, the less we ask questions about it. As a result, we could easily find ourselves in the paradoxical situation of not knowing the real meaning of words we use on regular basis. And even more, a situation, in which most of the other people we are speaking to, don't know it too, though they, more or less, understand what we mean. So, let us dive once again into the puzzling world of language and its organic development through the years.


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Studies into bilingual cognition could help improve language learning

In one experiment, people who spoke more than one language or dialect demonstrated greater executive control abilities - which include inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility - than monolinguals. Image credit - Jessica Lewis/Unsplash

Speaking more than one language could enhance mental abilities

Bilingual people can effortlessly switch between languages during everyday interactions. But beyond its usefulness in communication, being bilingual could affect how the brain works and enhance certain abilities. Studies into this could inform techniques for learning languages and other skills.

More than half of people in Europe speak more than one language while the same is true worldwide.

Switching between languages can be thought of as a form of mental exercise where attention is focussed on the relevant language while intrusions from the second language are suppressed. 'There is a lot of research that shows that when bilinguals speak in one of their languages, the other language is still active,' said Dr. Kyriakos Antoniou, a psycholinguist at the University of Cyprus.

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The Secret Troves of Etymology

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The word Energy

Energy is one of those words that most of us use on a daily basis. It has both everyday and scholarly meanings. We all know what does it mean and yet that could really mislead us whenever we are trying to examine the full range of its connotations and its origins. Let's set out on a trip towards the roots of one of the most common words today.

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Quotes to reflect on: Roland Barthes

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Language and Love

Roland Barthes is one of the most important think-tanks in Linguistics, Humanities, Literature, Cinema, and Post-Modern thought. As he perceived it, Language itself is the most crucial part of the body of our understanding of the world's phenomena. Language is not only a living organism but a corporeal part of our consciousness. We feel, touch, love, or hate, we fathom the depths of the Universe and experience our lives through our language. Our words and the meaning we attach to them have the possibility to literally create or disintegrate reality. So, don't underestimate what you daily utter or write or read or hear. It's what pushes up or down the evolution of our linguistic body, of our future as a species. Mind your words. For, what defines human being the most is language. And language could be love. Love and language - the greatest inventions of all times.

"Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is "I desire you," and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure.

Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments


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