In response to this.
Although I believe that linguistic relativity is something we have to watch out for in our everyday lives - I do believe that the hard form of the theory has been largely proved false.
Having said that, it is interesting to think about whether phrases like "oh my god" and "thank god" influence our perceptions on religion. There is no doubt the everyday phrases can influence our perceptions in general, however. In common everyday English we associate upward motion with higher states of awareness (for example) - perhaps this insures our perception that a heaven-like place exists above (when in fact outer space is really all around us, even below our feet)
Examples of Metaphors of Orientation in English
- Wake UP
- Get UP
- I'm in HIGH spirits today
- I'm UP on cloud nine
- Put the dog DOWN
- For the surgery we'll put you UNDER
- I'm feeling depressed and LOW today
- I'm sorry he FELL sick today