04 July 2016

The Flexibility of Language

An interesting article came out today entitled Bojophrenia: a new word for a new world. Of interest to linguists, discourse analysts or anthropologists looking to describe the ever changing and/or the contemporary nature of language, author Andrew Fagan defines this term as Bojophrenia – a contradictory and distressing mental condition in which a person or event evokes both profound ecstasy and deep anger in the sufferer to describe the tumultuous rollercoaster following the successful Brexit campaign. Of course you can't full understand the meaning of Bojophrenia without understanding the nuances of the Brexit campaign and political acrobatics after the referendum. I can imagine asking my students to (1) create an infographic or short 'one-pager' about the Brexit campaign and referendum outcome; (2) putting Bojophrenia on the slide and asking them (without looking it up) to guess about what this word actually meant.

This might give students a better understanding of the historicity and genealogy of the concepts that we introduce and lead into a conversation about the outcome of such a campaign in everyday life.