Language and social coordination in a world trying to avoid labels | Dr. Nick Enfield #44

Language and social coordination in a world trying to avoid labels | Dr. Nick Enfield #44

Language and social coordination in a world trying to avoid labels | Dr. Nick Enfield #44 

Does language impact our ability to think? George Orwell seemed to think so. I ask this question to our guest this week: Dr. Nick Enfield. Dr. Enfield has written a fantastic book: Language vs. Reality: Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Bad for Scientists. We talk about the problems of framing through a dissection of the Ivermectin debate; we discuss how language can shape reality, but more specifically how it socially coordinates reality; and why it's so difficult to have meaningful conversations when labeling becomes weaponized. This a great episode that is packed with wonderful content. Make sure you let me know by leaving a like, a kind comment, and making sure you're subscribed to the podcast. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.


Link to Dr. Enfield's book (affiliate):

Dr. Enfield's Website:


00:00 Teaser

00:30 Introduction

01:42 Beginning of conversation

02:13 Were you always interested in linguistics?

03:30 Dr. Enfield's video feed gave out here. I apologize.

04:37 What languages did you encounter on your travels that made you want to learn more?

07:09 What was particularly unique about the Lao language that fascinated you?

11:48 What was the genesis for your study: Language vs. Reality?

17:35 Let's talk about brute reality vs. social reality. 

18:45 What is the relationship between social coordination and reality?

24:53 You can't slip a Neomodern move past me. 

26:24 How can we communicate through labels when labeling becomes a weaponized act of rhetoric?

32:56 The rhetorical framing problems of Ivermectin

40:25 There must be some antagonism built into the democratic process

42:00 How does our choice of words "mess with our own minds?"

47:16 Could I try this experiment in my class that you mentioned?

49:15 You quote George Orwell in the book: does higher language lead to higher thoughts?

57:25 How did your study change the way you communicate with yourself and others?

1:03:07 Where can people go to learn more about your work?

1:04:01 Closing thoughts


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