Every so often, someone in a field such as economics comes up with something that seems to suggest that the language we use can affect how we think and even how we act. I’m not talking about obvious things (such as “How do you get 50 Canadians out of a swimming pool? You say, ‘Everyone please get out of the pool.’”). I mean what if, for instance, our grammar affected how we save for the future? What if our perception of time is conditioned by our language?
And all the linguists roll their eyes and say, “Whorf.” They’ve been down this road before. They reach for the mute button.
But what if both sides are overreacting a bit?
Read my latest article for the BBC: