Fall Lecture – The Power of Words

Well it’s that time again, Fall Lecture time.  This year my lecture was about the Power of Words.  I invited my students and offered (aka bribed them) with Extra Credit points if they would come to my lecture last night.  I had a great turn out with probably about 150 or so in attendance.

The topic was the Power of Words.  We talked about what language is, why there are so many languages, and how some languages are being lost or dying off.

I asked the kids about which words they have in Chinese that do not translate well into English, and it was really funny because they would say a word, and I would reply, “Okay, I don’t know what that mean, can you translate it for me”, which of course they couldn’t because that was the whole point.

I told them about how the Greeks had 6 words for love, and the Eskimos have 53 words for snow and ice, and we discussed how language adapts to fit the needs of the society that speaks it.  Language can show what we value, like the Greeks valued love, and that for the Eskimos their life or death could be dependent on the type of snow or ice they were traveling on.

I mentioned the origins of languages from the Genesis account of the Tower of Bable, and perhaps that is why it is so hard for us to learn languages today.

All in all it was a great turn out, and I had a lot of fun giving the lecture.

The most exciting thing though is that I got my own poster!

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