Monday, December 13, 2010

Christians are elitists - That's why we speak 'Christianese'

Chris Tilling posted this up on his blog, and I felt it was a sad depiction of the Christian community, but true.

Just like geekspeak, Christians also seem to have their own lingo that we *must* use, not realizing that we often shut out other people in the process.

Remember the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee?

Do we speak 'Christianese' because we are self-righteous?


  1. Wouldn't say so.
    When you spend a considerably large amount of time on a particular topic your use of vocabulary will adjust to it's lingua. It's a natural process and I tend to view it as in the brain can only have so & so much vocabulary at it's direct access at one time. The most used bits of vocabulary tend to be found quicker and therefore are reused more often.
    This does obviously not only included the words that are uttered, but the ones that are thought [as we do so in language in most parts ... or is it just me that talks to myself in my head 24/7 ?], hence when a topic consumes a lot of your daily thought process it's vocabulary will show in your speech pattern.

    Everyone is guilty of overusing genre words, be it Christians, Artists, Musicians, Scientists, Geeks [had a hard time not using a RAM analogy up there ;p], Multilingualists, Farmers, .... you name it.

    It does often come across as snobby/arrogant or, in the case of religious lingua, preachy, so one should try and be aware of when one is doing it themselves and try to keep genre to genre and talk normal to the rest of the world .... if you can ;)

    ping timeout
    Your Lord & Master

  2. @Nodis aka my Lord & Master :P

    From just this comment alone, i can't believe you learnt English just a few years ago! Your ability to master languages is really amazing!

    But yes, I do agree.. Don't you think, though, that geeks and Christians in particular are more guilty than most in this respect? I don't see my Buddhist or Muslim friends spouting lingo during normal day speech, or even during my Islamic classes that I took several months back. In fact, they're always very careful when they use religious terminology in front of us.

    Geeks and Christians, on the other hand, use it as a natural part of our daily language. But then, maybe this shows how much geekspeak and Christianese form a part of a person's everyday life? Since we all DO talk to ourselves in our head 24/7, and if we use lingo to the extent where we *think* in that particular lingo, then it must be rather influential, no? [btw if you're thinking 'no i don't talk to myself in my head', you *are* talking to yourself in your head right now :P]

    But I dunno. What I'm really wondering is, what if a person doesn't care for the lingo? Will he/she be ostracized, and proclaimed 'not a true Christian' because he/she doesn't 'talk the talk'? If someone decides to pray in a group prayer using plain and simple English, will he/she be looked at as a complete noob in Christianity?

    And wait. Since when were YOU Lord and Master?? I thought you were the milder one... :P


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