Writing is prestigious, and our spoken pronunciations are sometimes felt to be imperfect realizations of what is written. […]

In contrast, most linguists feel that spoken language is primary, and that written language is a derived system, which is mostly parasitic off the spoken language and is often rather artificial in character.

Some reasons that support this view are that spoken language is far older than writing, it is acquired first and with greater ease by children, and it is the common property of our species, rather than of just an educated subset of it.


Bruce Hayes, Introductory Phonology

Note that signed languages, like spoken languages, are also considered primary for the same reasons.

I come from a sheltered background. And then suddenly I’m off to Minneapolis, and these guys, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, are running around cursing like crazy. That made me so uncomfortable I wanted to go home – until I saw that they meant no harm or offense. They were merely talking the way they talk. They were being funny. They were being real. The problem was with my perception, not with their hearts. It’s taken me a while to realize – and rap has really helped educate me – that language is not an absolute. No word is absolutely wrong or dirty or insulting. It all depends upon context and intention.
—  Janet Jackson in The Joy of Sex | Rolling Stone (1993)

Scishow: The Fish With Human Teeth:

A fish with eerily human-like teeth was caught in a New Jersey lake. And scientists have learned to speak Bird!

Do you know the difference between quotes from the 1996 blockbuster film, Independence Day, starring Will Smith, and quotes from the (actual) signers of the Declaration of Independence? It’s not as easy as you might think.

Image by Jack Campbell-Smith for Oxford University Press.

Langblr, where you at?!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like the langblr tag is hardly ever used! I see medblr, lawblr, pharmblr, chemblr posts on a regular basis… but no langblr! So if you; 

  • study languages
  • like languages
  • speak languages
  • want to know more about languages 

make sure to tag any language-related posts so you’re easier to find! (and then I can go on a massive follow spree muahaha…) 


Why do people assume just because I voiced with my family/friends, that I would voice for the rest of my life or with everyone else around me?

Why do people assume just because I said one word, means I can voice throughout the rest of the conversation, while we’re signing. I’m not accommodating your needs. You need to accommodate mine. I have accommodated enough of your needs. 

Why do people assume that because I communicate via paper/pen, voice off, signing I’m considered ‘stupid’ or ‘weird looking because of the hand flapping’? Some days ( a lot ) I don’t like voicing, it’s hard to so this and speak in “Hearing Voice Standard” its exhausting to do this. 

Why do people assume once I explain to them I’m Deaf/HOH I need them to face me because I lipread… they think lipreading is a ‘superpower’? When in reality it’s not and 30% of most English words are read on the lips. Guessing Game anyone?

Why do people assume just because I can hear you when you’re near me… means I can hear you from across the room? Then you get annoyed that I’m ‘bullshitting’ my hearing loss, or because I ‘didn’t hear you for the 14th time’? 

Why do people assume that just because I do have residue hearing, I can talk on the phone. I cannot, I have difficulties understanding speech.

Why do people assume that just because I wear HAs/CIs my hearing is on par with your hearing? When in reality, HAs/CIs don’t ‘cure deafness’. It just makes things a little more louder, more clearer - or so they say, and harder to understand people/speech. 

Why do people assume that I don’t like being Deaf/HOH because of the ‘daily struggles/problems’? I’m actually very proud of being a Deaf person. I have a Community, Culture, Language, History and a group of people who DO understand the Deaf/HoH life. 

I could honestly go on… just this past few days… Argh!