Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis


This is the idea that the limits of our language define the limits of our thoughts. George Orwell said, in his essay on Politics and the English Language, that 'the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts' which I'm not sure is really true. It's like David Starkey saying that the 2010 riots were partially a result of young people speaking in a slovenly way. Steven Pinker dismisses the idea in his book 'The Stuff of Thought'

saying that 'thoughts can't be pushed around by words'. Eskimos having several different words for snow is not because they see the world differently; it is because they see a lot of different kinds of snow.


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