To What Extent Are Language and Taboos Related to Culture? Essay

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TO WHAT EXTENT ARE LANGUAGE AND TABOOS CONNECTED TO CULTURE? Introduction: I am going to start with a brief description of definitions I have found that represent my view of the words taboo and culture: Taboo: adj. Excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention Culture: noun. the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society. When first looking at this question I was convinced that that taboos, just like language, are very culture specific. So, that was my initial response to the question, to however, further investigate the matter, I will look at 3 examples: A Universal Taboo A Culture Specific Taboo A Historical Taboo A Universal Taboo: Death Death is something that especially nowadays and in more civilized countries is considered some thing unpleasant. This has obviously changed over time and depends on the culture you live in, but for the most part, death is considered a taboo. Something that we discussed briefly in class are euphemisms, and as some of you may know, there are many euphemisms for death, interestingly enough, I have found four similar euphemisms in four different languages. To be pushing up the daisies Manger les pissenlits par la racine ("to eat roots of dandelions"), French Ins Gras beißen ("to bite the grass"), German Vonat Fialky ("to go smell the flowers"), Slovak The reoccurring theme of plants is present, always alluding to the burial of a person. I think the allusion to plants and flowers is popular in more that one language because plants, especially flowers, are considered and always linked to beauty and fairness. It tries to give a more positive outlook on death, meaning that, especially in the english version, death creates something that is socially accepted as beautiful. Personally, I think that these are, although nice euphemisms, may just present

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