Industry Overview 1: John Flaus

Industry Overview: Week 1 Journal

John Flaus

During John Flaus’ lecture in Week One a juxtaposition was made between language and words. We were shown how language is spoken in books, poems, films, and the media and the fact that it is delivered to people in one way and interpreted in another. This shows that the language used by writers, actors, and journalists and poets is sometimes captivating and well presented in one sense but also misleading and flawed at other times.

At first glance words and language should be respected as being a tool and respected as a beautiful piece of nature. For example, semantics is a prediction and expresses what words mean. Secondly, syntactics means words or grammar. Thirdly, pragmatics are people who utter your words and use them for different purposes, eg.. Flash Gordon, and Bugs Bunny. It was forbidden in the 1940s to say “Flash” or “Bugs” but at present it is permitted.

In an artistic sense, Cubism shows the physical nature of a cube. A cube has six faces, we can only see three faces of a cube at once but the other three faces are hidden from you which defies the laws of human perception. For example, in one of Picasso’s paintings a person’s face in profile has two eyes and this adds productivity to the meaning of the work as it shows reality.

Grammar and syntax have a double function. This is shown in the poem “A Farewell to Arms” based on World War One. Hemingway, when writing this poem in 1929, wrote that 5000 men died of diseases. It shows a military strategist moving humans on a chessboard and only five thousand soldiers died.

There are two different value systems and two perspectives here. “Only five thousand died” is strategically advantageous as they died of a plague. The word “only” serves two purposes:

And with the Winter came the rains, and with the rains the plague but in the end only five thousand died of it in the army.

Under Gresham’s Law bad money drives out good. In relation to England, Gresham was worried that the value of coins such as a sixpence that it’s silver was the entirety of its value. From here evolved the English and Australian expression “You’re a little trimmer.” By ‘trimming’ you would shave bits of silver off the sixpence coin. Therefore, some coins no longer had their former value.

Under Grimshaw’s law it was anticipated that bad money (as above) would drive out good money. Similarly, poor use of language such as bad words would drive out good language. Therefore, bad language is used on T.V. news when journalists mistakenly refer to factual events and say “When WWII finished.” This changes the original meaning of the “World War” as it has an opposite meaning.

When a money value is placed on a service we exchange goods and services, eg.. bartering. Bartering is inconvenient as it does not always have an equitable worth. If only we respected words the way we respect money à look at politicians. Through inflation if you take more words than necessary to express yourself you actually inflate the language. Journalists and Politicians do this.

When you inflate the language you make it so vague that no one can pinpoint exactly what your opinion is so that you will protect yourself from litigation and slander.