The Blog of Babel

This site sits on the crossroads of Languages, Linguistics, Social Media Market Engagement, Marketing Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Creativity Theory, Ancient Mythology & Egyptology. Its a very small crossroads in the middle of cyberspace - so stay for a while - pull up a chair and coffee. 

Language Notes # 31: Linguistic Relativity - Leaky Grammar

This article touches upon another interesting topic that I have read about before in the world of Linguistic Relativity. 

Metaphors of Language Expression

The idea is that certain metaphors are built into how languages express certain topics (I touched up on this in this post). I gave the example of states of being - English relates upward motion with higher states of being and downward motion with lower states of being

  • 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

The English Metaphor of Time & Money

Time is Money. But in English, time REALLY IS related to money. In English, you can "buy time, waste time, save time, spend time." There is no larger metaphor in English that relates to time. This metaphor is pervasive in our expressions of time - it is therefore reasonable to believe that this colors our perception of time. In the US, time is money, something that individuals dare not waste and should make the best of (as the metaphor suggests - I'm not saying we're all cold-hearted, productive workaholics). 

What came first: the chicken or the egg timer? So does English reflect this because our culture is based on this way of thinking? Or does this linguistic structure gently help reinforce the believe that time is something to be used constructively.....(I don't have the answer)

    time-is-money-balance1.jpg
    Perhaps eventually in English you will be able to: loan time, mortgage time, embezzle time and invest time?