Language (a.k.a. Family) | Teen Ink

Language (a.k.a. Family)

February 8, 2010
By daffodilsNblueskies SILVER, Clayton, North Carolina
daffodilsNblueskies SILVER, Clayton, North Carolina
9 articles 45 photos 15 comments

When I think about language, my mind envisions specific words and phrases, how their meanings may change, and the influences that affect them. Language reminds me of family -- a language consists of many parts, each one is distinct; each part influences another; the absence of one completely redefines the language as a whole. Just as a family is composed of many parts -- brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents -- a language is made up of many elements.
When I think about language, I think about my family and how we each communicate. Although our words originate from the same language, our personalities, characteristics, experiences, and environments influence the way we speak. The meanings of simple words and phrases abruptly change with our variations of intonation, accent, and tone.
My uncle -- intelligent, successful, and intellectual -- speaks with soft tones; his voice only uses intonations when he is coming to an important point in his statement; he has a northern accent, but his lack of intonation and variation in tone suppresses the thickness of his accent. When my uncle speaks, his statements sound gravely important -- despite whether he's telling a joke or carrying a normal conversation.
My father -- intelligent, successful, and intellectual -- speaks with loud tones; his voice carries a different intonation after every-other word; he has a thick, South Carolina accent. When my father speaks, his voice sounds dramatic and humorous -- despite the situation.
My father and my uncle both share the same language; however, their voices are portrayed as if they were speaking different dialects. They're both intelligent men, successful in their work, and intellectual. The difference between them is this: their tones, accents, and intonations form to create their voices -- their own form of language.

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