October 7, 2016 by Nancy Yin
During the summer holiday, a news catches people’s attention. A teacher who gets cancer recently loses her job. I believe for most of people, when they first saw this news, they got angry immediately. I could tell that form the 14,000 comments under the post just in 5 minutes. Almost every comment was about the how could school do this kind of thing. However, after few days, a debate about this event was post on the Internet. And according some people who knew that teacher well, the truth was this teacher went to the hospital in another city for several weeks without reporting it to the school. And the school thought this teacher had another job because it was common to see among the private school. Then was the result we knew, the teacher was fired.
Why people are so emotional about this news even without reading the content? To what extent does emotion hold a position in language? There is some words played very important roles in the news title: teacher, cancer, job, and school. Every word made sense to us because they are very close to our life. For most of us, we knew about the school since when we was about 3 or 4 years, and teachers at the same time. When we came elder, we have learnt some information about those serious diseases such as cancer. And from my own understanding, cancer means hopeless, painful, and expensive. The family of cancer patients always shown on the TV crying about how hard their life is. And once someone get diseases, the school or the company they are in always collect donations for them. People are willing to donate because of the sympathy they have. As for the job, have a job means having steady income. Loses job is indicated to loss of income. It looks more crucial for a teacher who just got cancer. Then the combinations of these special words affect our emotion strongly before we continue searching for what happened.
Then another question come to me, does the language always combine with emotion? As we know, language do express the emotion, such as happy, sad etc. But for these words, they are not the emotion word. And there was no story in details had been told in this short sentence. Then I found out as I mentioned earlier when we speak about something, even just a simple word like teacher, it always reflects to the real life. The impression of the thing in the real life is different from different people’s point of view. However, if we get large enough data, there must be a lot of common ideas among these different points of views. Eventually, the personal knowledge will become the shared knowledge. Some of them are taught in school. For instance, in the poetries I learnt, teachers are compare to candle, which stand for they burn themselves to light others. Then in our memory, people who become a teacher are responsible to their students and unselfish. Therefore, teacher is a positive word.
As the language could reflect to the real life, every of us must have own definition and impression about the word. And our understanding is shaped by the media, books etc. So, sometimes when we read a news report or some simple sentences. It is hard for us to be subjective as long as the language system works in our brain. And that is also most bias come from.
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