DailyDirt: It's What You Say AND How You Say It

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Studying how language can predict behavior is a fascinating field. As communications are increasingly digital, everyone's messages are more easily data mined for all sorts of analysis (ahem, and not all of it is done by the CIA). Marketing folks are looking at how catchy phrases might increase sales -- which may be why you're seeing more headlines like "8 simple ways to ..." and "one simple trick that ..." in ads. Here are just a few other linguistic studies for you to peruse. Also, happy belated National Grammar Day! If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  1.  
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    Gintare, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 6:52pm

    "Studying how language can predict behavior" - NO, it is not the language that determines behavior.
    Just read "Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of Earth" by L. Gumilev
    This book is very unusual and ground-breaking in many aspects. It is all explained there.

     

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    Oliver S., Mar 6th, 2014 @ 7:05pm

    I grew up in Germany where most of the population speaks 2-3 languages. Language has little to do with your behavior. Society and where you've been living is what determines it.

     

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  3.  
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    Pixelation, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:45pm

    Just Whom do you think you are?

    Yes, I get a lot of dates.

     

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    David, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:58am

    Well, they might be onto something

    In German, you can say things like "War jetzt eigentlich morgen Probe?" which is literally "Was now incidentally tomorrow a rehearsal?" and is a very complex interweaving of grammatical times and layers and intentions.

    Its meaning more or less is "While I should have already surmised from past communication whether or not tomorrow will be sporting a rehearsal, I am currently not able to remember what the information I supposedly received was, consequently being in need of a reconfirmation from somebody with better recollection."

    All that information is compactly transmitted by the diligent composition of logically incompatible temporal adverbs and verbs.

    Actually, I met my current girlfriend partly due to my ad reply containing some telltale words like "sintemalen" or "behufs" which would suggest that either I have consciously acquired old-fashioned language or am a vampire of old. My stated age did not entirely support the latter option.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    I don't think he claimed that language determines behavior. However, it is clearly true that language can predict behavior nonetheless.

    That said, I personally will argue that language can strongly influence worldview and therefore behavior.

     

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