Bees Have No Dance for 'Up'

Language is like climate and weather: regionally unique, a high percentage of predictability- yet can occasionally be wildly surprising, universally necessary, measurable, and (despite the efforts of mankind) unable to be contained or controlled.

unable to contain or control weather

unable to contain or control language

Yes, language has certain rules. I do believe we should know and understand these rules BUT we should also be aware of the evolution of language. Everything about language was invented out of necessity and then honed over time.

Trick question: When did the honing of language stop?
Answer: I'll let you know when it does!

Human language is distinguished from animal language because it is novel (among other things). It is novel because we can invent both formal and informal words and elements in language. Consider some of these contemporary additions to English: Chunnel, fax (noun AND verb), LED, google (noun AND verb), lol, bootylicious, etc.

Now consider how bees have an intricate system of dance moves as their language. The only purpose for it is to tell their hive-mates how to get to newly discovered pollen (hive-mates: new word!). Their dance language is very accurate. However, a study was done where bees were placed, along with pollen, atop a radio tower above their hive. When the bees got home they couldn't tell anyone where the pollen was. Bees apparently have no word for 'up' and they cannot invent one. The doomed radio tower pollen never fulfilled its destiny.

Fred Astaire: Those are some sick dance moves, bee! Hope you don't mind that I put your pollen in my chandelier, lol!

Conclusion: We should take the time to educate ourselves about the proper use of English but we should also intelligently and objectively evaluate the common usage of it. Change is beautiful (and human), but you've gotta know the rules before you can break 'em.

This blog is dedicated to surveying the English language. There will be some criticism. There will be some education. There will be some philosophizing. Ultimately, the goal is make us all more effective communicators.

For the blog posts, go HERE.

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