What’s In A Word?
photo credit Chris Halderman
In the latest issue of “Newsweek”, science editor Sharon Begley examines psychologist Lera Boroditsky’s fascinating research on how the language we speak shapes the way we think and see the world.
According to Boroditsky, “The private mental lives of speakers of different languages may differ dramatically in all manner of cognitive tasks. Even a small fluke of grammar – the gender of nouns – can have an effect on how people think about things in the world.”
While there are a number of very interesting examples cited in the article (check it out), the subject got me thinking about something tangentially related — Twitter. Because Twitter has its own unique “language” of just 140 characters per post, I believe that it’s affecting us in a similar way. I know, myself, that I have begun to think thoughts that can be easily summarized in just those 140 characters.
I wonder what impact this will have on us down the road; will tweeple (people who use Twitter) develop a different type of cognitive process than others?