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Sara Palacios Echeverry

ENGW1102

October 2014

Sara Palacios Echeverry


ENGW 1102
Professor Kapica
INQ Note 8
October 2014

But the power of language is greater and more dangerous than it; it shapes reality
(Fish, 37). Everyone has an agenda, a message they want to convey. This is the most basic
purpose of communication. Fish argues that by choosing to include or omit certain
information in a sentence, we shape the way the reader perceives it. When we think about
something, an enormous number of ideas come to our mind, however, it is impossible to
express them all. Like when writing an essay, one needs to decide what the main argument
is, and based on that, decide which information is convenient to include. Therefore, by
looking at the lexical choice and syntax of a sentence, we can make inferences on the reality
that the author wants to offer. For instance, lets take media institutions. The type of
information media delivers shapes our view on the world. They manipulate what they want
to deliver and how they deliver it in order to make it more appealing to their audience.
According to fish we do the exact same thing when writing sentences. We arrange every
part of communication around our purpose. People always tell you: you should try and
express yourself in the best possible manner. I now realize that this is what they meant.
Expressing yourself is about taking what you think and translating it in a way it can be
understood by other people. Thus, one could argue that communication has a persuasive
nature. You have an argument (a thought) and you want your receptor to believe it. Hence,
you organize it the best possible way in order to convey it.

Sara Palacios Echeverry

ENGW1102

October 2014

Another interesting claim Fish made wax that truth can be shaped by context.
France is hexagonal Is true for certain intents and purposes(38). The verity of this
statement depends on the person who reads it. More specifically, it depends on the
persons background. From a geographers point of view this is not entirely truth, since the
shape of the country is more complex than that. However, from a militarys point of view
this analogy makes sense. Our background knowledge shapes the way we evaluate
information. It gives us a lens to look through. Since everyone is different and has different
experiences, these lenses vary from individual to individual. This fact contributes to the
uncertainty in the world. Nothing is one hundred percent true, or one hundred percent
false. It all depends on the point of view. Everything is subjective. Lets take Romeo and
Juliet for example. There are some people that think it is the greatest love story ever
written. On the other hand theres people that believe it is such a tragic book. The way
people perceive the book depends on the personality of the reader, and his or her
experiences. An optimistic person who is in love while reading the book is more likely to
define it as romantic. Whereas a person whos loved one just passed away, would probably
relate to the more tragic part of the story. It all depends in the context. We are constantly
creating relationships with the things we perceive. In order to understand something we
like to put ourselves out there and compare what is happening with what has happened to
us.