Last update: 17 March, 2017
Violence in language is one of the most negative forms of aggression. On the one hand, words have the power to leave marks that have repercussions even many years later. On the other hand, violence in language is often well rooted and / or socially legitimized. It is not as visible as physical violence, which is why it is more difficult for an intervention to take place.
Words leave no physical marks. For this reason, there is usually a halo of impunity in front of them. Many argue that they have said nothing wrong or have been misinterpreted or that what is said in anger should not be taken seriously. What is certain is that violent words are equivalent to blows, often very strong, inflicted on the soul. For this reason, they are not eligible.
"I am wary of the incommunicable: it is the root of all violence"
-Jean paul Sartre-
Violent language harms people and deteriorates relationships. Following certain sharp words or phrases, a relationship will never be the same again. The barrier of respect and consideration that the other deserves is crossed, for this reason they wound and leave scars. Below we will talk about three manifestations of violence expressed through language.
Animalizing: a clear expression of violence
Although it is a communication in which violence is evident, the truth is that it is very present in everyday language. There are those who choose to say that the other is a pig, a donkey or a beast. The pig for those who are inelegant or who have a high body mass index. The donkey when talking about someone who is not very good at school. The beast for those who make mistakes or who use force without thinking.
It is totally normal to use these words that have become part of the common language. They are socially accepted and, in fact, cannot be said to be very sharp, unless repeated frequently or accompanied by other indicators of contempt.
People also animalize themselves. They don't say they work hard, but they "work like an ox". They do not say that they feel exploited by others, but that they are "the pack mule" of others. The most negative aspect is that they strip the person of his human condition. If used often, these words validate a sort of "law of the jungle" in which respect no longer matters.
Use of hyperbole for negative emotions
It is common in people who are very anxious or overwhelmed with anger. They decide to express all their negative feelings or emotions in gigantic terms. They don't just say he bothered them that the other messed up the table. Instead, they express themselves by saying that they are indignant and that the extreme recklessness of the other turns their stomachs on them.
They don't feel anger, rather anger or fury. They do not feel sad, but they feel hurt in the soul or as if they have received a stab in the chest. They always choose the most extraordinary ways of expressing pain, anger or anguish. Their purpose is not to express themselves, but to rape the other with those expressions.
The bad thing is that those hyperboles eventually cause the opposite effect. Instead of impressing others, they end up numbing them. They might have some effect at first, but if they become a formula of habit, they lose their apparent effectiveness. In this way, others, sooner or later, will end up turning a deaf ear at hearing those expressions.
The eternal repetition: the chant
The extreme repetition of denunciations or complaints constitutes an expressive form that belongs to the violence of language. Insisting with the same formulas to complain is equivalent to the intent to mark others with our words. Stigmatizing them or limiting them to a meaning.
Reiterative speech is a one-sided method of communication. However, beyond this, it is also the intent to impose meaning. The worst is that it is an attempt made through the primary way - inoculating the words in the conscience of the other - and for this very reason it cancels the interlocutor. It reduces it to the object of a unique message, of a brand.
Any of the three ways, animalization, hyperbole and "chant", are ways to spoil communication. In these, the meanings are distorted or lost. They are not expressions intended to promote understanding, rather they are language devices whose main function is aggression.
Think about it, do you make use of one of these three ways of communication? If the answer is affirmative, we invite you to put a sign at the beginning of the path that reads "Forbidden to pass". For you and those around you.