Friday, January 17, 2014
Modern Phrases and Statement Analysis
Yet even analysis must be fluid so that it shifts as language shifts.
We have words like "selfie" (that is when a person uses a cell phone to take picture of one self) and "photobomb" (when one interrupts or inputs himself into another's photo) and a host of abbreviations that are creeping into our language.
It is not just "google", which has become a verb (imagine that!) that we must respond to, but even the cultural changes that influence language.
I was thinking of this very thing recently when a study came out that showed that more and more people are watching television while operating an electronic device, like an iPad.
How might this impact language and subsequently, analysis?
One issue that came to mind was the word "with" in analysis.
When we find the word "with" in a sentence used between people, it is a signal of distance.
"I am working with the police." How might the same thought be stated differently?
"The police and are are working on..."
This subtle change can be the difference between strong cooperation and a lack of cooperation, depending upon the case.
The word "with" when found between people, suggest distance. Sometimes the distance is very important. Other times, the distance may be something very minor. Recall our example from Christmas:
"I went Christmas shopping with my wife."
In this case, I most certainly did not want to go shopping.
"My wife and I went Christmas shopping" was a much more enjoyable outing for me. In the latter, perhaps it was that we looked at things I enjoyed looking at, while in the former, the distance is due to me being preoccupied.
"I had lunch with my wife yesterday. I ordered seafood while she ordered chicken."
Here, the word "with" indicates distance, and it may be that the distance is merely that we ordered different meals.
"My wife and I had lunch yesterday. We had chicken." Here, there is no use of the word "with" and no distancing language because we ate the same food. It can be something this minor.
Given the recent study about television and iPads, we might expect to hear the word "with" come into play when someone talks about television.
I was watching TV with my family" has distancing language even though all four of us were watching the same program. While watching the hockey game, I was typing on my lap top, Heather was looking up some statistics on her iPad, and Sean and Christina were texting friends.
If the study is to be believed, it may be that more of us are watching television while operating cell phones, iPads and other devices, and it will find its way into our language.
Perhaps you'll google the study I cited?