Vocabulary Essay

Pages: 3 (998 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Communication - Language


For example, for centuries, children were seen as property of their parents and expected to engage in productive hours of work each day: "Often it was the most dangerous, dirty, and menial jobs that were left to the children. In England, a five-year-old might be expected to work a 16-hour day and to receive a beating the process if he wasn't working hard enough" (Levine & Munsch, 2010). While a short-sighted person might dismiss these facts as merely the behavior of primitive people, a more thoughtful person would be able to imagine the differences of the time. A more well-rounded person would be able to imagine that hundreds of years ago, the needs and values of people were so incredibly different due to the demands of mere survival that certain differences in behavior and treatment occurred. This demonstrates an ability of the mind to imagine -- a type of understanding and knowledge that can occur without vocabulary's tendency to shape.

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Regarding vocabulary and knowledge of the human and natural sciences, a more narrow-minded person might argue that a limited vocabulary simply limits all that one can understand in these more advanced fields. However, the reality is that more often than not, in the sciences vocabulary is used to be exclusive and to exclude areas of knowledge. In many cases, it appears that vocabulary shapes what one can know -- but often this is simply because others have determined that to be the case. For example, some of the most complex processes in the sciences can be explained and understood using the simplest vocabulary. However, the vocabulary chosen instead is that of the elite, allowing much of the concepts, processes and phenomena of science to be understood only by a select few when that absolutely doesn't have to be the case. In this case vocabulary isn't shaping what we can know -- people are shaping vocabulary so it appears to be shaping all that we can know.

TOPIC: Essay on Vocabulary We Have Does More Assignment

Thus, the sentiment that vocabulary communicates our knowledge is indeed a sound one. However, it's too easy to forget that vocabulary is not the only tool which can be used to shape our knowledge. Humankind has the resources of creativity through the arts to aid in our expression of thought and to communicate the incommunicable. Yet, words far too often become the primary means in society for expression. The notion that vocabulary shapes our knowledge is a deceptive one. Vocabulary can indeed limit our amount of communication in certain respects but there is much that human beings can understand intuitively and instinctually.


Eliot, T. (1971). The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts. New York: Harcourt Books.

Levine, L., & Munsch, J. (2010). Child Development: An Active Learning Approach. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers.

Pinker, S. (2008, January 13). The Moral Instinct. Retrieved from cuny.edu: http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/INTRO_TEXT/Chapter%208%20Ethics/Reading-The%20Moral-Instinct.htm [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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