Relationships, Sex and Mercantile Languages

English is a good trading language. English is a great active language, think about it, when you were taught how to form a sentence what were you taught? Noun, verb right? John is running. Mary is dancing. Even simply existing is a verb, all about the doing; I am…short for ‘I am being’, I always thought.

Whilst I was in Japan I became aware of how our basic ways of thinking are formed not only by the society within which we are brought up but also by the language which we are taught to speak. I could claim that I speak four languages but the reality is that I speak two and passably get by in the other two. I can think in French and the way I think in French differs a little form the way I think in English, not noticeably in many ways but noticeably after learning to speak such a totally different language as Japanese.

The main reason that English has spread throughout the globe is down to it’s association with commerce. English currently has a larger population of speakers who speak it as a second or non-native language than it does as a first (consider that please, because that includes Americans, Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, South Africans etc.etc.) it is the only language in the world to have this occur. People primarily have learnt English because it will help them commercially. So English has spread because of the American economic empire and before that the British etc.etc. I wonder though, how far the Anglo-Saxons are doing well in economic terms because we have a language and a way of thinking that suits trade? Whenever a baby is taught English with that language he is taught a certain way of thinking.

Someone or something is always doing something. Later along comes the notion that when you do something then something else will happen as a consequence of that initial action, the basis for trade is begun. But if something does something and that provokes a reaction then it’s not far off that that you start getting to think of everything as some sort of bargaining process, everything as a trade.

Everything is not a mercantile process nor was ever meant to be so. Yet you get comments by some of my sister’s friends made lately which prompted me to ask ‘So what is the difference between a girlfriend and a whore?’ – they were remarking on the notion of the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship being one wherein she gives him sex and he takes her out for meals. The notion of sex as a trade item, or even of sex itself being a trade (‘I get her to come first and then she makes me come’, or perhaps ‘if he goes down on me then I’ll give him a blow-job’) is an anathema to, well, sex! But seeing relationships as some sort of commodity, well to be honest I don’t know which is worse.

Relationships are a communication, a touching, a connection, that is not mercantile. Sex, well in ancient Japan sex was viewed by the upper classes as a game or a sport, you should play it and try and become as good a player as you possibly could, not to win prizes but for reputation and enjoyment. Gods to see it all as coming down to the barter, it makes the whole thing sick.

2 thoughts on “Relationships, Sex and Mercantile Languages

  1. English is the new latin. The real question is whether some form of English will survive as the language of academia long after the colloquial use has mutated into something completely different.

  2. Even Latin was never truly world wide.

    Currently linguists are predicting that English will be used in two forms, colloquial and standard. You can already see this in Asian countries, in India notably there is an English patois spoken by people who’s native language are differing dialects and a Standard English that is understandble by foreigners and considered correct in business meetings. More curious is ‘Engrish’; Japanese English ‘patois’ spoken in a country which has no historical reason for it (no not even the atom bomb counts) in addition to the standardised English spoken for ease of business.

    Will English ever be for academic use, I don’t know, but for common communication I can see it lasting and lasting.

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