A tribe of indigenous people lives in the Amazon as they have for the past hundreds—maybe thousand—years. They were under the radar of the lost Chinese naval fleets in the 15th century, Spanish conquistadors and disease, Christian missionaries and Jesus. Not too extraordinary or fascinating in the age of mass media; we like to think we’re familiar with their lives, while whispering to each other about their exotic and barbarian culture and habits, studying naked breasts in National Geographic. Except these people are like none other in the world due to their exquisite lack of language. No fixed words for numbers over two, or colors, or references to anything beyond the immediate past.
French, once a worldwide language, has been taken over by English for use in official norms. Soon enough, Chinese will take its place. As for now, the English language adequately suffices in its ability to convey any meaning down to the microscopic point of deriving our message, clarifying our delivery, and conveying our background. Specificity is the rule rather than the exception, and if I’d like a burgundy glove in lieu of a maroon mitten, that wish will not be misunderstood– we’d expect to think.
George Orwell, wrote in his famous novel, 1984— now a standard high school literary requirement– about semantics. He did not scribe the actual word “semantics”, but with this possession of the English language that has more words than any other language, that wasn’t necessary. For when there is a plethora of choice, dubious decisions are made. And so in 1984, a concept was spread through Orwellian prose.
Doublespeak– to convey a meaning contrary to words actually uttered. Have you once had the misfortune of speaking to someone who seemed as if he understood you, and superficially seemed in agreement, empathizing wholeheartedly, only to realize later he is a polite Contrarian? This is doublespeak.
So for the tribe living roughly untouched in the Amazon, their lives are untouched by Doublespeak, by lack of premise and guise. No names for colors and no anxieties of getting shot for wearing blue. No numbers to tally wealth for class struggle and personal finance. No references for the past to hold long grudges like the the Palestinian–Israel conflict that began with a jealous feud between the mothers of Ishmael and Isaac.