„All language is expression of thoughts".
(Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804, German philosopher) [1] [2]
(translated by Christine Wilhelm)

Language is the most important tool in interhuman communication. It allows to clothe precise thoughts in words so that people can understand each other. By the same token, used language can also change our world of thought. Spoken words can constrain or liberate us. They can broaden our horizons or leave people locked within strict rules. [3]

Here is an example: [4]

In his lectures, a professor confronted his students with the following short story: A father drove with his son when they had an accident. The father died at the crash site. The son was taken to hospital severely injured and had to be operated. A member of medical staff hurried into the surgery, approached the boy on the table, turned pale and said: „I cannot operate. This is my son."

At first, the professor irritated the students with his story. They speculated and then a student thought he could solve the mystery. In his opinion, the dead father was not the real father, instead the surgeon had recognized his biological son.

The right interpreation, however, was that the mother found her son in the surgery. Everyone had assumed that the member of medical staff was a male surgeon. Nobody had thought of a female surgeon. [4]

Language forms our world of thought and makes images become real, for instance, it functions as subtle tool in advertising: the cake suddenly tastes like "grandmas'". In political contexts, words form metaphors which can change the world by means of election battle cries such as "Yes, we can!" In social contexts, language works in a way that female surgeons become visible as shown by the example given. [3]


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