Cardinal Direction Rhetorical Analysis

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Individuals whose language utilize cardinal directions, instead of egocentric directions, develop a greater sense of spatial orientation. Egocentric directions depend on which direction the person’s body is facing; you would tell someone to turn right at an intersection if they were approaching from the north, but you would tell them to turn left at that same intersection if they were approaching from the south. Conversely, cardinal directions do not change as our bodies do. With cardinal directions, you would tell someone to turn east, regardless of which direction they were originally coming from, once they approached the same intersection. Deutscher explains, that in order to use a language fluent in cardinal directions, you must be in tune…show more content…
Deutscher discusses a scenario where two people, with only one whose language uses cardinal directions, are staying at a hotel in separate rooms that are across the hall from each other. For someone used to egocentric directions, the two rooms would appear identical, since the objects in the hotel would be on the same body side. Meaning, upon entering either hotel room, the bathroom would to their left, the bed to the right, and the kitchen straight ahead. Conversely, a speaker of cardinal directions would feel like he entered a mirrored world if he went into one hotel room and then the next afterwards. Upon entering a hotel room on the opposite side of the hall, he would claim that the bathroom was now to the east instead of west, his bed from west to east, and his kitchen from north to south (452-53)! Would these subtle changes cause him to enjoy his stay more than the other at this hotel? Unlikely. However, he would feel disorientated if asked to stay in the opposite room after a day or two. Additionally, this shift in his reality would even affect how he recalled the rooms if you asked him years down the road. Deutscher explains this phenomenon, of experiencing a different reality, with a short story of a man, whose boat capsized in shark infested waters. While the interviewed man shared his story, he perfectly recalled the cardinal directions of the…show more content…
Instructing our youth to learn cardinal directions will develop their strength of spatial orientation. This skill, developed through language, can even mold our reality into something that was previously not visible. In addition to revealing new concepts, the way we describe people and events can improve our memory. These descriptions also vary among languages, and our understanding of why speech varies can allow us to understand each other intimately. Languages that assign femininity or masculinity to inanimate objects has likely affected how our architecture was constructed. And the view the same architecture would be different depending on the spoken language of the individual; a tower could be perceived by an English speaker its size, a French speaker for its beauty, and a Russian speaker as a symbol of power with multiple shades of blue. Boroditsky is opening our eyes to the powerful influence of language on the brain, and we should anticipate what the future holds for this field of
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