Dr. Elisabeth Mclaren
July 5, 2015
From Ancient Greece to Iraq, the Power of Words in Wartime - Summary
After reading the article written by Robin Tolmach Lakoff a linguistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Robin Tolmach Lakoff obtained her degrees in linguistics with a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University (Berkeley.edu). Linguistics is the scientific study of language. The article was published in the New York Times on May 18, 2004 by print. The reader's role in this article would be to get a better understanding of words in wartime which ties into the title itself. The attitude of war that started back in Ancient Greece to more current times with Iraq has not changed even though the selection of words have. The purpose Robin Tolmach Lakoff's article is to persuade the reader to choose peace over war. The sub points are shown with examples of all the play on words that are used to turn us against the "enemy". The article is well written to see her point of view that we need to see the other side of war. The impression the author leaves from her style of writing seems to be informative. The main purpose is by documenting dehumanizing terms so the reader will realize that war is real. Using words like the "enemy," "it," and how soldiers are not real people but think of them as individuals who do not suffer. The author cites several historical facts, and brings her expertise in language on the subject. The reasoning for why the author shows us the play on words is we will protest against war. We need to understand that war is not just about weapons but words help to fight as well. Teaching fighters to kill is not wrong but honorable. Learning to use the right words while in war is going to help set the stage to kill others. Every culture and war is different but must be taken seriously to win. Every culture and war has their selected nicknames to use so the...
Cited: Lakoff, R. T. From ancient greece to iraq, the power of words in wartime. New York Times, May 18, 2004. The New York Times.
Berkeley.edu. 2007, n.a. Retrieved from http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/
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