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Saturday 7 December 2013

Let's Make the Language Useful

One of my life principal is to not let anything just go by the board. There must be at least a new knowledge, information, everything new I get every day. And I really have to be grateful for today I have a lot of new information in my vacation venue.

Along this time, we may think that the traffic light is installed to be obeyed by the riders and the drivers on the street. Indeed, that’s true. But the reality *especially in Indonesia* doesn’t say so. Well yes it’s true that some of them obey the symbol of the traffic light which we have learned even since we were in Elementary school: red means stop, yellow is the time to be ready and green means we have to go ahead. However, we can’t deny the fact that there are still some indiscipline people who do not obey that simple rule of the traffic light. May we conclude that the people don’t understand language? Yes, they don’t understand language, even if theoretically they do understand the meaning of the traffic light symbol.

Another example is when we are in an air-conditioner room, there’s a sign which tells us to not smoke in the room. But there’s a man who keep smoking, even though he has healthy eyes to see and has quite good enough brain to perceive the meaning of the sign correctly. Then may we conclude the man actually doesn’t understand language? Yes, the man doesn’t understand language even if he claims himself know what the notice in the sign means.

What is the reason of concluding so?

Language is not only a form. Language has function, which is as the tool of communication. When the red lamp on the traffic light is on but there are still some people just go ahead the street, then the symbol which is represented in the installed traffic light doesn’t have any function anymore. There’s no difference between installing the traffic light in an intersection and not installing it. That’s why, again, language IS NOT ONLY a form, but also must be shown in behavior to make it functional.

In addition, the language will also lose its function when certain language *especially spoken language* isn’t uttered with the suitable expression. The function of the language will be failed when, for example, verbally we say “I am very happy”, but our expression is showing like :(.

Then from today session, I come to the conclusion that we have to fulfill some requirements to make a language functional:

  1. There must be the form of language: it can be sign, symbol, or sentence.
  2. The language must be implemented in behavior: we can’t merely say we understand the notice of no smoking by saying that we do understand, we also have to perform it as our behavior by simply not smoking. If we do vice versa, then it means we don’t understand the language.
  3. The language must be suitable with the expression. We’re not the antagonist actor/actress of a sinetron who seems to be sad in front of the protagonist one while deep inside our heart there’s a voice say: “Hahaha rasakan pembalasanku” or something like that, no? :p *oh please, what an absurd example*

So it actually simply likes a love relationship. When someone comes to us saying the he/she loves us, we won’t be easily convinced by the statement before we experience the prove of his/her love, rite? *winkwink*

So, do you understand about language and its function now? Aha! Now we both understand :D

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