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  1. #1
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Language is the underpin of our society

    I was wondering whether all users of language on this forum agree with the following statement.

    'Language is the social underpin of our society, responsible for every action that takes place.'


    It's more of a general curiosity, stemming from a recent discussion I had in regards to the many different literacy practices used in society.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    I was wondering whether all users of language on this forum agree with the following statement.

    'Language is the social underpin of our society, responsible for every action that takes place.'


    It's more of a general curiosity, stemming from a recent discussion I had in regards to the many different literacy practices used in society.
    Is 'underpin' even a noun? I've never heard that.
    What do you think about the statement? I think it's demonstrably false, given that you only need to think of one action that language is not responsible for (one counterexample) - and that's easy.

  3. #3
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Is 'underpin' even a noun? I've never heard that.
    What do you think about the statement? I think it's demonstrably false, given that you only need to think of one action that language is not responsible for (one counterexample) - and that's easy.

    'Underpin', 'support' etc.

    Underpin is a verb, according to the dictionary.
    'Support, justify, or form the basis for: "the theme of honor underpinning the two books.'

    I wouldn't be too sure about that. In our society, communication is used everywhere. Without it, there would be no society.

    Would you care to provide your example?

    Keeping in mind the social context.
    Last edited by HanibalII; 22-May-2013 at 22:58.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    'Underpin', 'support' etc.

    Underpin is a verb, according to the dictionary. That's what I said. It's used here as a noun
    'Support, justify, or form the basis for: "the theme of honor underpinning the two books.' Yes, and ...?

    I wouldn't be too sure about that. In our society, communication is used everywhere. Without it, there would be no society.
    Yes, and ... ? I was replying to the proposition that 'Language is the social underpin of our society, responsible for every action that takes place."
    I would not question that communication is used everywhere, or that without there would be no society.

    Would you care to provide your example?
    Of an action for which language is not responsible? Sure, a baby pooping, a couple having sex, a woman being mugged. How many do you need?

    Keeping in mind the social context.
    Do they teach you critical thinking in your course?

  5. #5
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Do they teach you critical thinking in your course?

    Maybe I didn't word it clearly enough. In a social context IE interaction. If a couple starts having sex, surely one of them would've made their intentions clear beforehand. (Gestures etc) Same with a woman being mugged. Surely the mugger would make his intentions clear. Again with gestures. A baby pooping isn't interaction in a social context, my mistake for not making that clear beforehand.

    Maybe 'every action' is a bit too broad for this statement. Maybe it should be 'social interaction.'
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    It's not only 'every action' that's too broad. You are using 'Language' rather broadly if it's intended to cover gesture and non-linguistic signals of intention to mug.

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    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It's not only 'every action' that's too broad. You are using 'Language' rather broadly if it's intended to cover gesture and non-linguistic signals of intention to mug.

    Yeah...More so literacy practices. More or less, being 'literate in the 21st century'.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Yeah...More so literacy practices. More or less, being 'literate in the 21st century'.
    I don't follow. Are you now saying that 'literacy practices' (whatever that means) or 'being literate in the 21st century' are responsible for every action that takes place?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Returning to the subject of 'underpin' it seems to me that Haniballl and his class-mates may have heard a native speaker saying 'X is the underpinning of Y', and the two nasals were heard as one.

    b

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Language is the underpin of our society

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Yeah...More so literacy practices. More or less, being 'literate in the 21st century'.
    This casual attitude to the meaning of words and sentences might work out in Wagga Wagga; it could even be normal there. Is that where you're going to teach?
    By the way, the question about critical thinking was literal. If they don't teach such a course at Charles Stuart, you could enrol in one through OUA. I'd recommend Macquarie's PHI120.

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