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Benjamin Whorf

We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language.

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Most metaphysical words in Hopi are verbs, not nouns as in European languages.

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Too long has the public mind considered religion to be synonymous with priestcraft.

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Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.

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My analysis was directed toward purely physical conditions, such as defective wiring, presence of lack of air spaces between metal flues and woodwork, etc., and the results were presented in these terms.

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But in due course it became evident that not only a physical situation qua physics, but the meaning of that situation to people, was sometimes a factor, through the behavior of people, in the start of a fire.

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At the same time, new concepts and abstractions flow into the picture, taking up the task of describing the universe without reference to such time or space - abstractions for which our language lacks adequate terms.

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