The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: A theory developed by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf that states that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken. Also called Whorfian hypothesis.

In short. The Sapir-Whorf theory is the idea that language affects how we see the world. It gives us the ability to know things, to name them, to understand them.

When you give something a name, your mind is better able to wrap itself around that concept or object.

I find this most interesting when learning a new language. For instance, the German language offers up names for complex feelings, and allows them to truly recognize those feelings and describe them. A German friend once told me she felt she couldn’t fully express those feelings in English. No words existed.

Giving something a name is powerful. And there’s a lot of concepts and ideas out there that need a good name.

Thus, is our endeavor.