28 septembre 2019

Uwe Poerksen, Plastic Words (note de lectura)

Subtitle: The Tyranny of a Modular Language
The Pennsylvania State University Press
German original version 1988. English translation version 1995

plastic words = connotative stereotypes
The vernacular has been colonized or invaded by science. But science is altered in vernacular context: it becomes contradictory, doctrinaire, and imperialistic.

The plastic words are present everywhere: in the speeches of politicians and on the drawing boards of city planners, at academic conferences, and in the ever more taken-for-granted in-between world of the media.
The nation state weeds out languages.
Universal signs – words that become common sense.
Those words already existed two or three hundred years ago; but they have changed their meaning.
Popular concepts from the vernacular are transmitted into science or some other higher sphere, where they pick up the semblance of generally applicable truths. Then they wander back, authorized and canonized, into the vernacular, where they become dominant myths and overshadow everyday life.
The scientific teachings of Marx and Freud reappear in the everyday as doctrines and myths that disable the vernacular.
Amorphous plastic words are the elemental building blocks of the industrial state.
If the one looks only at the words, they sometimes appear to be a skeleton that displays the structure of the world more clearly than a full ideological presentation would.
The words are modules of a new reality – a reality that locks us in a conceptual prison.
Language crystallizes  consciousness and forms an intermediate world.
Language is an intermediate world.
Plastic words have weak contours.

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