Posts filed under ‘Psychology’

Linguistic contexts

My English vocabulary is melting away. The more Finnish I speak, the more clunky I can hear my English becoming–partially because I have learned to dumb it down in order to have clearer conversations with non-English speakers, and partially because my brain is replacing language associations with different environments with new ones. I was in a meeting yesterday and got all confused as my associations clashed–it was a meeting(like the Finnish business meetings I’ve been having), but it was a student-activist group atmosphere(English academia). So what came out of my mouth was a stuttering mix of half Finnish, half English, as I “vuorotellen” (see?!? I know there’s an English word there) forgot first the right words in one language, then the right words in the next. Also it’s been a slight survival strategy here to switch into English when I talk to people in official settings so they don’t think I’m “simple”, since my Finnish is basically accentless now but my eloquence is distinctly lacking.

I learned three languages simultaneously as a kid. I must have kept them separate by relating them to distinctly separate contexts–now as an adult I’m going to have to be a bit mindful of that, since living with Emma means I’ve been able to get lazy and switch languages whenever the other language seems to have a better word. Tsk tsk.

But what’s more important, being able to communicate in a beautifully specific way with a small group of people, or being able to communicate in a general, understandable way with everyone else? I mean, if you could only choose one?


November 18, 2006 at 8:45 am 4 comments

Genocide, your office, and your teenager

It all comes down to the same thing. Stupidity and lack of autonomy increases as groups of people gather together. We all know this. It’s called peer pressure, mob mentality, if-your-friends-all-jumped-off-a cliff-would-you (you would), and many other things.

What I’m proposing is a solution: Active, regular preemptive thought.


September 4, 2006 at 10:36 am 10 comments

Today is a good day to play

A collection of potential future projects, to dig deeper into when I find the time. links