Monday, 11 March, -
The issue of problematic language was made especially exigent due to the primarily oral culture of medieval England.
I am not the first literary historian to apply the concept of the meme to English analysis.
In this way, there was a belief that words were actual deeds with real consequences [think philosopher of language J.
Modern misogyny and the medieval mouth.
In this particular issue, as I believe in many others, the Middle Ages offer a mirror to modern society that it has not yet dared hold up to itself. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term in the s, positing that ideas and concepts are active cultural agents, and in this way influence social and cultural practice. Without wishing to create a false linear narrative, I believe that looking to history can help facilitate thinking and broaden our intellectual contexts when considering patterns of thought and behaviour today. In this way, there was a belief that words were actual deeds with real consequences [think philosopher of language J. Attempts to control women speaking today have a distinctly pre-modern flavour. As such, for the wider population there was a dependence on orality that heightened the problem of the relationship between morality and speech; how language might be used subversively, and ultimately challenge authority.