Metaphors: Today was bright fire and oven heat. The sun was burning my skin already when I left my house. I was too tired to even think. My weary shell became heavier as the day went on. All day people were
talking at me more than they were talking to me. Work was a tornado of complaints, calculations, and questions. I did not think the day would ever end. “If only I had called in sick”, I kept thinking. The hours melted into a puddle that was slow to evaporate. I found myself staring at the computer screen hoping that its radiation would provide me with some energy. The morning’s coffee had only managed to keep my eyelids from collapsing. In the afternoon I stepped back out into the sun to make an attempt at a solar energy transfusion. I succeeded only in temporarily blinding my eyes. Back in my cubicle later on I began to imagine I was a prisoner and that I would be forced to work without sleep forever. My only deliverance was the screaming numbers on the clock that at five o’clock released me to go home.
Critical Thinking and Language Essay
How and what language we use determines how we think. Critical thinking is no different. What language we think and use to describe something ultimate dictates how severely we examine it. The critical thinking process involves looking at something and examining it many different ways. If the language we possess is limited, our different ways of examining a subject are limited as well. If on the other hand the language we possess is extensive, then we can examine more extensive aspects of whatever subject we are thinking about.
Language diversity though outwardly challenging, can be a very exciting communication experience. Imagine yourself in a foreign country alone and without transportation or any means of communicating with anyone in your native tongue. It will be time consuming to communicate with someone who does not speak, read, or write like you. Put enough time and effort into the exercise and a person will learn new words and new ways at looking at language of any type. A community that is made up of diverse languages and cultures can also open the mind to new interesting ways at using language. Think for example of the southwestern United States where often the Spanish language works its way into conversations in English. Although the participants in the conversation may not have all learned Spanish, the Spanish words they have learned and choose to use in that conversation have a different emphasis than if the English word was used instead.
“English has the same limitations that all languages have: it structures our perceptions and our memory, and it is subject to inaccurate definitions, conflicting connotations, ambiguous positioning, and distorting euphemisms” (Kirby and Goodpaster, 1999). Language empowers our expressions precisely by structuring the words we use to suit a specific purpose. Rather than saying large we can say huge and therefore provoke a different sentiment. Language limits us when emotions are too strong to be put into words without losing their meaning. Also when we have a thought or experience that there are no words for and therefore we cannot fully understand it.
In the realm of persuasive thinking, both the persuader and the person being influenced must use their critical thinking skills to gain the advantage in the situation. A person attempting to persuade another’s thinking or behavior must analyze what they know about that person, what feedback or body language they receive in order to figure out what the best tactic to utilize is. Most of this information gathering is based on prior learned knowledge, and successful versus unsuccessful experiences. For the person being persuaded they must use their critical thinking skills to analyze the situation that they are in. They must ask themselves if the person who is trying to convince them is credible, what their motives are, whether they are lying. Particular attention should be paid to the language a persuader uses because it can make all the difference in whether or not a person is influenced in the situation.
In conclusion, the language we know influences the way we think. The way we think influences the language we use. Critical thinking must be implemented in order to determine the best path of thought and the best use of language in any given situation.