While attending a class at my local religious congregation, I became intrigued with the manner in which the instructor was teaching the lesson material. She had stated that we should pay close attention to the wording of a certain passage in our text. She explained that the words being used were ‘action words,’ which implied that personal action was requisite in seeking God. At that moment, I received a bit of inspiration. It wasn’t to do with God, the lesson, or religion in general, but it was on the nature of English verbs or, as they are known colloquially, ‘action words’. At this point, the only question I could think of was this: Does the structure and grammar of modern English reinforce the notion of individualism in Anglophonic societies? As I pondered this question, I began to take note of the comments being made in the class. Each one stated the need for personal agency, accountability, and action in their dealings with the divine as well as in their everyday life. Their use of language was filled with first-, second-, and third- person singular personal pronouns, only seldom inserting their plural counterparts. In essence, the entire class all but screamed that individualism was the core ideology guiding their conscious actions. Through further study, I have come to this conclusion: The structure of English grammar assists in maintaining individualistic ideologies among Anglophonic societies. To support this statement, I will explain the development of the theory of linguistic relativity, the development of capitalistic economics within English society, and the grammar and syntax of the English language and show the relationships between these concepts and individualistic ideology using historical, cultural, and linguistic examples.
Development of Linguistic Relativity
Put simply, the theory of linguistic relativism states that language has a... [continues]
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