Thursday, September 27, 2007


I have figured a name for what I am guilty of: linguistic prejudice. I did not realize until I came up against a language like Mongolian that somewhere in there I had decided that there exist natural proclivities for the grammatical shapes and sequences words fit into, natural proclivities for the sounds a mouth would make. I should have figured otherwise when I learned what a dead metaphor is, and how many I use, and when I learned that language is endemically a system of authority, a complex code embedding and reinforcing cultural norms and systems of power. Mongolian is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. On a good day it sounds like children whispering; on a bad day it sounds like cats fighting.

1 comment:

samraat said...