Post with 7 notes
Language is not solely a means of communication. It is also an expression of shared assumptions and trasmits implicit values and behavioural models to those who use it. When, for example, such ordinary words for a female person as woman or girl acquire the additional commonly understood meanings of ‘mistress’ and ‘prostitute’, as they once did, an attitude towards women held by some members of society becomes part of the experience of all that society’s members. Language is at once the expression of culture and a part of it. Just as changes in language may be understood by an examination of the social and historical context in which it is used, so may social attitudes be illuminated by a study of language change.
Jane Mills, Womanwords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Patriarchal Society, 1989