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Dangers of Weaponising Language
This article delves into the intricate interplay between language and society, shedding light on the risks associated with weaponizing language. While inspired by Harbhajan Singh’s recent piece on the weaponization of race and religion, this discussion expands the scope to include language as an equally potent force. Language, despite being a remarkable blessing, can also become a curse when wielded recklessly or with partisan intent.
The Enduring Impact of Words
The author highlights the enduring impact of words on individuals, arguing that linguistic wounds often leave deep emotional scars (Singh, 2023). Unlike physical wounds, which tend to heal with time, the hurt inflicted by words lingers in memory, adding to a repository of negative experiences. The author recalls a time when certain derogatory terms, such as “bastard,” were legally prohibited due to their implications about a person’s legitimacy.
Evolution of Societal Norms
Over the years, societal norms have evolved, and pre-marital pregnancies, once stigmatized, are now more widely accepted as a prelude to marriage (Singh, 2023). This shift in perspective reflects the changing dynamics of human relationships, both in sexual conduct and other aspects of life.
The Role of Language in Conflicts
The article emphasizes that the trio of race, religion, and language requires meticulous handling and responsible discourse (Singh, 2023). Language, in particular, plays a significant role in conflicts, as its usage often labels and categorizes, necessitating careful monitoring. The term “weaponization,” as used by Harbhajan Singh, serves as a critical reference, extending beyond race and religion. History is replete with examples of word-related disputes that have ignited quarrels, and even wars, due to the provocative use or misinterpretation of language.
Challenges in Pluralistic Societies
In pluralistic societies, where diverse values and beliefs coexist, these challenges are magnified. Disputes stemming from linguistic controversies are often protracted legal battles, leaving all parties dissatisfied. Politicians, in particular, face substantial risks when language is employed carelessly or with excessive seriousness, as this can trigger emotional reactions and strained relationships.
Responsibility in Language Usage
In conclusion, the article underscores the need for a sensitive and responsible approach to the use of language (Singh, 2023). It encourages thoughtful communication and the avoidance of casual or offensive language. In times of uncertainty, the author recommends turning to dictionaries as a guide for clear and respectful expression. The overarching message is clear: language is a powerful tool, and its impact, whether constructive or destructive, should not be underestimated.
Language, weaponization, race, religion, society, linguistic conflicts
Citation: Kirpal Singh (2023). Dangers of Weaponising Language. Horizon J. Hum. Soc. Sci. Res. 5 (2), 19–22. https://doi.org/10.37534/bp.jhssr.2023.v5.n2.id1229.p19
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