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Language and Society book club CH 1-3

Usagiboy7
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Feel free to discuss in comment section below:

"Interesting to consider how we might privilege a contextual understanding [of words] in some situations and a dictionary definition in others."

Last week, I announced that I had started a book club devoted to the topic of how language and society interact. Last week's discussion. The book we are starting with is called Language in Thought and Action by S.I. Hayakawa and Alan. R. Hayakawa. (Edition is important for referencing specific page numbers during discussion. We are reading the 5th edition of this book.)

This reading group originally started in my offline life with a group of my friends before I decided to invite Duolingo folks to join us. My offline group got their books last week and on Sunday we began to discuss chapters 1-3 though an online forum called Slack. The coming Sunday, we will be discussing Chapters 4-6). It is ok to join late though!

For those interested in joining, please send me a short message me via Facebook. The link is on my Duolingo profile.

Whether or not you're planning to join the official group, feel free to discuss this tidbit that sixington contributed to our discussion this week:

"Interesting to consider how we might privilege a contextual understanding [of words] in some situations and a dictionary definition in others."

In what situations might it be advantageous for people to prefer a contextual understanding over a dictionary definition or visa versa? To give an example, I once joined a debate about whether the word "magical" should or should not be applied to aspects of Native American life. I've encountered the word "magical" applied to Native American customs more often than Christian customs. My argument was that, when combined with other details, the words we use describing Native Americans could have an impact on government policies. My argument described contexts in which "magical" could lead to people thinking of something "fictional". A person responded by giving me a screenshot of a dictionary's definition of "magical", in which "fictional" was not included.

This week/Week 2's URL

1 year ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Briton296

Can I join? I do not have Facebook

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Let me do some troubleshooting about this and I'll get back to you. It is ideal if folks have an FB account for initial contact. They don't need to add me as a friend first. I just need to use it as a means for initial communication so I can send them an invitation to the Slack group.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

A book club? Nice :) I would love to join, although I may not finish 6 chapters by this coming Sunday, lots of stuff to do being a senior nowadays.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Make your best effort to catch up, if it takes longer, that is ok. Each week's block of chapters has it's own channel in the discussion group. So, the comments won't be completely buried by people getting ahead. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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aspects of Native American kufe.

Did you mean “life” rather than “kufe” ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Good catch! I've edited it. Thanks! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Gearing up for a new post for Chapters 4-6! I will probably make the post tomorrow, once the others in our off site group have had a chance to post comments and give responses. :)

1 year ago