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The Surreptitious Exploitation of Language.

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THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE ESSAY: THE SURREPTITIOUS EXPLOITATION OF LANGUAGE JACK CHANG #114727 WORD COUNT: 1585 MAY 12 2003 MRS. MOGYOROSHI BLOCK E THE SURREPTITIOUS EXPLOITATION OF LANGUAGE By Jack Chang In today's society, we live in a world that seeks to conceal rather than to reveal. However, education has challenged us to evaluate the vast wealth of knowledge that we acquire on a day to day basis and assess how much information is actually being exposed to us and how much is being masked from our perception. Indeed, we are bombarded by daily doses of fallacies that exist even within the information that we are being given; there is no doubt that they are deeply embedded within the social fabric of society in which we seek comfort in. Yet the plethora of deceptive techniques being employed in today's society amounts to an incredible, if not shocking, figure. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once claimed that "words are more treacherous and powerful than we think." In doing so he warns and hints to us the perils that lay hidden within language since words have the power to dictate our emotions, feelings and behaviors in such a way that leads us astray from the truth. ...read more.


In her book The Language Imperative, Elgin provides a case study called "The Menopause Transformation" where doctors seem to have created a disease-if you can even call it that-by transforming a normal stage of every women's life called menopause. Doctors refer to it as hypoestrogenemia. Certainly, if a patient learns that she is merely going through a normal stage of life, she wouldn't feel obliged to see a doctor. But if a doctor reveals that she has hypoestrogenemia, it has a strong negative connotation making it sound almost as if she has a disease. The perception of the same stage of a women's life becomes blurred and distorted; their ability to reason seems to fail as the power of language is much too overwhelming. What patients do not know, is that the symptoms of menopause and hypoestrogenemia are exactly identical; yet once a patient is diagnosed with hypoestrogenemia, her life is never the same again. Millions of women are being diagnosed with hypoestrogenemia; that's a lot of patients and a huge influx of money being spent for health care. The power of language is surreptitiously being exploited for monetary gains. Yet the power of language does not end just there. ...read more.


In addition, Sartre's claim does not seem hold true for areas of knowledge such as mathematics where language exists in the form of numbers. Mathematics is based on a clear set of rules where logic and reason form its meat and where it is generally free from linguistic influences. Even though we exercise our ability to use language in a well-structured and articulated manner, we often overlook the power of words. We fail to notice the spurious claims that flourish within today's society as we gradually become numb to the fabricated reality constructed by the media through the exploitation of our language. Even within our much-trusted health care system, we are deceived and swindled by those in authority. Our history is tainted with the dark and cruel deceptions of leaders such as Hitler who sought to defend nothing except their own egoistic interests. Surely, history almost always has a way of intruding upon the present. Hence, it is important for us to become aware of how unbelievably deep the hole of deception really is. We must learn to rise from the dark hole of lies and deceit to the sunlit paths of truth and reality. And truth be told, we have not even remotely reached the bottom of the hole of mendacity through my analysis; we have merely scratched the surface. ...read more.

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