The ability to communicate is inherent to a successful society, and the base of that communication is language. To take away communication, to truly isolate oneself from the ability to interact with others, is near impossible. The expressions we make, the words we use and the messages we send bring us together.
Language can be in the form of words or a body movement, through technology or in person. It is easy to take the comfort of our own language for granted, something junior Abby Sophir discovered during her semester in Tanzania (Lost in Translation, page 18). From these barriers however, come out-of-the-box thinking resulting in global communication. This can be through something as complex as international business translation (Around the World in 80 Languages, page 22), learning a second language (Tongue Tied, page 24) or as simple as coming in contact with new regional slang terms (Word Trip, page 21).
With language we pass along our stories, our personal and cultural narratives. Yet sometimes these narratives are overused by Hollywood, an idea explored through (Repeat Offenders, page 29) Even the organic food industry uses language to its advantage to market to eager and sometimes naive consumers (Eating Your Words, page 32).
Vulgar language has a way of stirring up controversy particularly in hip-hop, but as Ysabel Malarky finds out, it’s more than the provocative words rappers use but the corporate censorship of provocative ideas (All Rhyme, No Reason, page 30). Words that were once only considered vulgar are being reclaimed by groups as means of empowerment (A Word of Mouth Revolution, page 14).
But it goes without saying that language is beautiful; it is cultural and it is personal. The words we string together in meaningful ways are then left to others to take in, interpret, make their own and use however they may. It is this give and take in its entirety, that makes the world connected through language, whether it is common, physical or foreign.
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