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medium of communication: english

English alphabet and sounds


medium. n. 1580s, "a middle ground, quality, or degree," from latin medium "the middle, midst, center; interval," noun use of neuter of adjective medius, meaning "intermediate agency, channel of communication" is from 1600.

preschool age children and visitors from different language groups experience the frustration when trying to communicate with even kindly disposed parents and natives whose vocabulary they do not know. the adult native speakers have formed a working knowledge of the spoken language aided with the context related meaning of the audible sounds uttered. the first few sounds made by infants, the crying, cooing, and calling are understood by the parents and adults as they had themselves made such sounds to convey their needs of the moment. in sanskrit language, the three primary sounds creating words, are: ambaa, akkaa, and allaa, all meaning mother. and similar sounds are made by infants of other language groups. even baby calves make similar sounds to call their mothers.

a language spoken by the person is called the mother tongue, or vernacular. it is the sounds of mother's tongue that the child learns to identify things, beings and actions with. mother tongue is thus direct and a functional medium of communication. logically, a language that itself is both the medium of communication and expression needs no other language for the meaning conveyed. for newly discovered things, beings, and acts new words are formed and are aided with the pictorial images to show what they look like.

when a dictionary is made of the language that is both the medium and the meanings of words printed, it depicts the divide between the words and their meanings. it makes for the making of the personal meanings of the words uttered.

now open up an english language dictionary. pick a word at random. for instance, the word: true. it has three or four meanings given. take the word for first meaning. look up the meaning of that word, and place it next to the first word for which the dictionary was referred to. both words should be the same, which they are not. thus in english language the words belief, truth, faith are interchangeable. in the american vocabulary it is much more so also due to the coming together of people of the different language groups. then there is the verbosity as a required tool for the professionals like teachers, preachers, politicians, and writers for whom the repetition of the same word, even if for the same meaning is considered weakness.

for the print media, the texts of news and opinions are what distinguishes a newspaper or a magazine from the commercial pages, even though now even the commercial ads occupy large portion of the front pages of newspapers. in fact, the need for the bigger number of the commercial ads in the news section necessitates the written material to separate one ad from another.

the radio and television, too, have lost the distinction of news and commentary from the commercials. the public broadcasting, which was meant to be broadcasting matters of public interest totally unadulterated by the commercials have been promoting commercial ads simply calling it a grant or funding from the advertizing companies. and, too, this new meaning enables them the tax deductions for advertizing in the pbs media.

then, the english language has its unique built-in duality of the alphabet, one for writing, and one for speaking. the written alphabet has 26 letters, but the spoken language has more than 40 sounds for which the alphabet is printed only in the dictionary, and is meant for the spelling guide of every letter used in a word. still more, there are letters in words in the print form that are "silent", not to be uttered, but have to be written nevertheless. all this in effect makes the english language to be pictograph, where each word's scripted form has to be memorized for its sound, for the sound of the same letter of the alphabet arbitrarily varies in different words. for instance, the scripted form of letter 'a' has more than five different sounds. since, the textbook script of english language, printed in 26 letters cannot give these different utterances of the same letter in different words, the non native speakers of the english language cannot easily speak in english language and be understood by the native speaker, even though they can read and write well.

this ambiguity of the english language is recognized by the scientists as a problem in communication. so they have adopted latin words and terms in the language of science, even though in the long gone latin language and in its speakers' time, the words for the very scientist and his inventions did not exist. the 'latin' of the scientist is very much a creation of the scientist as are his creations. as not all geniuses of science are linguistic scholars, their knowledge of the latin language is only as deep as is that of sanskrit language of the brahmin priests and the western translators of the sanskrit words, including that of the compilers of the oxford sanskrit-english language.

the linguist who made the word: 'naja naja' for the indian cobra -naaga in india -- was the victim of the interchangeable sounds of the english letters 'g' and 'j'. the absence of the distinction between the long and short vowels between a and aa -as used in writing the oriental words has misguided the dictionary compilers in translating some sanskrit words. one such mistranslated word in the dictionary is: dharmamegha, translated as 'the wisdom cloud'. now, even some of the north indians have misread the sanskrit letter 'dh' as 'gh'. but those who know the sanskrit language would notice that the sanskrit word: megha, is a mesculine gender noun for the rain cloud; and the word: medhaa is a feminine noun for the wisdom. one of the common distinctions between the gender of nouns is that the feminine gender nouns end in long aa.

the knowledge of any language does not automatically enable one to understand every word, unless one also knows the philosophy and the way of thinking of the people of that language group. both in the vedic and buddhist meditational states one experiences awakening with the six sense organs: dharmakarna, aware-ear; dharmachaxu, aware- eyed. and darmamedhaa is thus the aware intelligence. the dictionary transaltion as the 'wisdom cloud' actually negates the wisdom, since the cloudy vision requires medical attention. a letter was sent to the oxford dictionary editor, and his reply was that the dictionary was compiled by the scholars, and they could not be wrong.

this brings up the issue of language as the medium of communication. there is a statement in the indian book of theatrics written some two thousand years ago: "a most romantic love act performed by a pair of talented female and male actors fails a child of five to appreciate it." it takes two to make sense. likewise, most books written about anything outside of the modern norms only mystifies the matter, and fails in communication.

one of the most common phrase that precedes an expression between two native speakers of english people is: "i think..." now logically, what follows is a statement of what the speaker thinks of the matter expressed, which may or may not be the fact of the matter. there are other phrases: "i believe," "i suppose," and the like, which denote ambiguity taken for granted for a fact of the matter. in the english culture cultivated by the lengthy educational process, not knowing the positive response to a question posed is a fall from one's esteem in others' eyes, even they be one's friends. it makes for making it up. and making it up is a makeup showing what is not there. in order to live up to one's self image in people' s eyes this not knowing makes for the exaggerations and outright falsifications.

the ultimate victims are the students, who as the captive audience are subjected to memorize the words of the authority figures. once acquiring a name in any field which may be far beyond the grasp of the person, then becomes a best seller writer with the ghost-written material. almost all writers, who have written volumes about the wisdom of the chinese and indian sages have lived in duality of thought and action, depicting the western norm that one does not need to act upon what one says one understood. it is thus, that the profound religiosity of the americans enables them to become most armed nation, with most wars to their credit, and still believe themselves to be christians, whose first biblical commandment is: 'thou shall not kill."

this duality of thought and actions is the way of life that is systematically implanted in the now westernized urban mindset through education, that one cannot escape it even in mundane interactions save becoming a pariah for expressing dissent, even within one's peer group. outside of the classroom discussions and under the 'freedom of speech' all one's tries to live up to one's understanding of facts lands one into prison or worse.

words of wisdom
become mere knowledge stored
in the memory of listeners
or printed on pages ever read;
if, in either case, never followed
by an active response,
and find out if it is true.

 


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