Linguistic Paranoia

Kudos to Nataly Kelly of Common Sense Advisory, whose recent editorial submission to the Boston Globe, Caught in the grips of linguistic paranoia, was picked up by The Week.

Why are other languages so threatening to us monolingual Americans? I think it is a testament to the power of language. I lived in South Africa for a while in the early 1980’s and saw first-hand how languages can be used to control parts of the population. It is not a pretty site.

But if language is so powerful, why don’t we tap in to that resource? It takes effort, especially in a country that can be rather insular. Kelly suggests: “Accepting that we are a multilingual nation is a challenge, because it requires looking beyond our borders and outside our comfort zone.” She follows with: “The only solution? Know thy enemy.”

I submit that if we study our enemy’s language, we may find a friend. Or at least someone we can live peacefully beside.

JMCC Conferente Center

The conference will be taking place in the stunning surroundings of the recently renovated John McIntyre Centre (JMCC). Part of the Pollock Estate, the JMCC is located in the vibrant Southside of Edinburgh and nestled on the edge of Holyrood Park. The estate offers a residential conference village environment within the city. It is easily accessible on foot or by public transport from the city centre while also boasting electric car charging points and parking.

Marjolein Groot Nibbelink
Marjolein realized early on that the Netherlands was too small for her. After traveling to 30+ countries over the span of 10 years she moved to the United States in 2014. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Rotterdam and has long had an affinity for creative writing.


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