What if We Occupied Language?In October, Zimmer, who is also the chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Word Committee, noted on NPR’s “On the Media” that the meaning of occupy has changed dramatically since its arrival into the English language in the 14th century. “It’s almost always been used as a transitive verb,” Zimmer said. “That’s a verb that takes an object, so you occupy a place or a space. But then it became used as a rallying cry, without an object, just to mean to take part in what are now called the Occupy protests. It’s being used as a modifier — Occupy protest, Occupy movement. So it’s this very flexible word now that’s filling many grammatical slots in the language.”What if we transformed the meaning of occupy yet again? Specifically, what if we thought of Occupy Language as more than the language of the Occupy movement, and began to think about it as a movement in and of itself? What kinds of issues would Occupy Language address? What would taking language back from its self-appointed “masters” look like? We might start by looking at these questions from the perspective of race and discrimination, and answer with how to foster fairness and equality in that realm.
Read the full story here: The New York Times
- Occupy the Classroom – NYTimes.com (wpvins.wordpress.com)