The Power of Language Free Essay
A language is a tool that helps people communicate, and it opens new opportunities. Apart from that, language can change the mind and enables the analysis of problems from different aspects and angles. In language, some words have implicit meanings. Such types of words are called “coded words”. People always use them with some adjective verbs to describe something indirectly. The nouns can also be used to do that, and even a certain word may elicit a mental image of certain characteristics. Among the Chinese people in China, the US, and the rest of the world, coded language is readily used in everyday life to pass certain meanings and social reactions. Many persons use coding languages as a way of excluding other groups from their conversations, discriminating against other groups and persons, and avoiding the use of normal language, as it might expose them as prejudiced. Coded language also leads to power dynamics in society. The communities can use coded language to portray certain meanings, hide specific parts of their nature, or present to the world a person they are not but wish to be. The use of personal coded terms to hide some personal issues apparent in Chinese celebrity couples, Yin Xiaotian and Halina Xiaotian, indicated that she went to Tianjin medical school, thus implying she studied at the Tianjin Medical University (Best China News). In this way, an analysis of the coded language by Ms. Halina might show that her use of the term “Tianjin” about the place where she attended college changed the mind of Mr. Yiu both positively and negatively.
Coded language has the effect of helping people get what they want, even if they sometimes do not deserve it, by changing the other person’s perception of issues. In this case, this type of language has the power to hide the fundamental truths about issues and make people not question some things, as their presumptions ensure that they take the meaning that the users of the coded terms want them to comprehend (Stoica 105). In personal relationships, the power of coded language, especially when it is used as a way of hiding something from the other party, can be problematic. For example, it can be used to hide things that are fundamental about a person in a bid to portray him or her from another side. Eschholz et al. give the example of white people who mistreated black individuals in their neighborhood in a bid to make them move away (332). Thus, they called their endeavor to mistreat their black neighbors the “Golden Rule”, while the white people also termed their nefarious association the “Neighborly Endeavour” (Eschholz et al. 332). In this sense, for example, people might choose to use words that only identify half of the meaning of what they want to say, thus misleading the other party into implying a certain meaning while the other meaning remains obscure (Eschholz et al. 332). In such a case, one can end up confusing a receiver of the information if the latter believes in this data and fails to interrogate further. For instance, it can be seen in a situation when Halina said that she went to medical school and graduated from Tianjin Medical School (Best China News). At face value, one would believe that she graduated from Tianjin Medical University’s school of medicine, and her husband believed this to be the case for a long period. However, in calling herself a medical graduate, she used coded language to hide the school that she attended, which was Tianjin Armed Police Medical School. In this way, while she may have had no bad intentions, the language she used ended up confusing her husband, who may have felt that he was lied to. Consequently, the use of coded language in a case where one hides some part of the information to convey incomplete facts has the power to misguide or even confuse the audience.
Apart from that, the language that is coded does not just have the power to change one’s mind when a person is duped, but it can also be used in other circumstances. When one realizes that the coded language had been used to misguide him or her, he or she is capable of changing their mind about the issue at hand to correct the imbalance he/she feels the manipulation might have caused (Stoica 105). An example is the case of the use of the term “medical school” by Halina while introducing herself to her husband (Best China News). As noted in the previous paragraph, her husband was attracted to her partly due to that data. However, what she states is not true, as instead of studying at the famous university, Halina went to medical school in a police college. As Eschholz et al. note, the symbols can provoke deep emotions, and in the current situation, the symbol of an armed police college, as opposed to a prestigious university, evokes the feeling of betrayal in Yiu (332). It is a perfect illustration of the power of coded language to change people’s minds. When s the husband decoded the language, he thought that Halina intentionally lied to him (Best China News). The disintegration of the coded language makes the issue serious, whereas Halina seems to have omitted some facts while describing her former college. In this way, she might have lied by omission. The coded term, in this case, had the implication, as Yiu changed his mind on his wife after the discovery that Halina had omitted some terms and, as a consequence, implied a meaning that was different from the concrete one.
The term “Tianjin” also changed the mind of the involved people by implying that the person who went to Tianjin University is smarter and, thus, of higher sophistication than Halina might be. The university is recognized as one of the best in China, and thus, a Chinese person who has lived in China and is aware of the social and educational structures in the country most likely positively reacts to the mention of this name during a conversation. The learning institution implies academic excellence and social status. In the US, the equivalent is probably the mention of the Ivy League Universities, as every American is familiar with them. Consequently, if one was to say that he/she attended school in Tianjin, the automatic mental response of a person who heard that would most probably be respect and high status in society. Consequently, this affects the way how one might treat such people, listen to and act on their ideas, and as is seen in the case of Yiu and Halina, also lead to a marriage proposal (Best China News). One may not anticipate the long-term effects of the coded language, or if they do, such people should just adjust or refuse to use it, thus changing it to be more understandable to the other party. The effect of this language is not only misleading one’s partner, as is evident in the case of Halina and Yiu, but also long-term impact on one’s credibility and life.
The term “Tianjin” about a university changes minds both positively and negatively. From the positive point of view, one gets better treatment by implying that he or she attended the institution. In this way, that individual can get a boost in social credibility if people think that he/she studied at this famous university (Rivera 22). Such a person is not only able to be treated more seriously by peers, but one might also be able to increase their lifetime outcomes (status and earnings among others) (Rivera 15). As it is apparent all over the world, attending a prestigious university can ensure that one gets a better job and even higher pay that the rest of the people (Rivera 22). Consequently, from a personal point of view, the mentioning of this university can have a positive effect on a person who alleges that they attended Tianjin when being in China. On the other hand, the term can also change one’s mind for the worse. It comes from the realization that a person may have been duped. In the event, that an individual uses the term to imply that they attended one of the most famous and prestigious universities in China and did so, this is positive. However, the term rears its negative side when it becomes apparent that it was used not as a way of affirming the truth but as a manipulative lie. As seen in the case of Halina and Yiu, one can use the word to gain more value in the social world while being simply manipulative without any evidence to back said that fact (Best China News). The negative impact of the use of the term does not end with manipulation. Discovering that a person applied the coded language to either influence or control other people’s opinions can be considered a backlash against that term from the people who might feel used, controlled, or manipulated. Consequently, on the positive side, the term can show one as smart as well as assist them in increasing their earning potential and give them social privileges, while on the negative side, the term can also lead to social ostracism if people realize that it was used as manipulation or way of controlling people’s opinions through false representations.
All in all, a study of the coded language used by Ms. Halina shows that the mentioning of the term “Tianjin” about the place where she attended college changed the mind of Mr. Yiu both positively and negatively. As it is apparent, language has a way of affecting how human beings react to various issues or presented facts. The use of certain terms elicits specific emotional as well as social reactions. On the positive side, this means that one can gain an advantage by identifying with certain nouns or using some specific adjectives to describe themselves as well as their achievements in life. On the other hand, the same terms can manipulate the minds of the recipients of the information and, thus, can bring long-term harm and resentment. One can see this in the case of Chinese celebrity couple Halina and Yiu. The woman said that she attended Tianjin medical school, thus implying that she went to one of the world-famous universities that are called Tianjin. Without the clarification that she went to Tianjin Armed Police College, her husband later thought she used the term in a manipulating manner, hence leading to their separation. In this way, the situation clearly shows the true power of language. People should use it properly to avoid harming other individuals or presenting incomplete facts about themselves.
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