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Critical Thinking and Language

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Language can be a very powerful tool if used correctly. The critical thinker can use language to express thoughts more powerfully or create imagery that is greater than the original thought by the use of metaphors. The critical thinker will expand and know how to use the vocabulary of language to be a better communicator. The critical thinker can also use the power of language to persuade others to their way of thinking.

The thunderous echo drowned out all other noise as we approached, foretelling of the ominous sight we were soon to behold. The traffic going to this wonder was moving at a tortoise's pace making us wonder if even the hare could win this time. As we stepped out of our vehicle the sponges that we earlier had considered to be appropriate clothing immediately became dripping wet from the mist in the air. We were deaf and saturated but still we plodded on to our destination. As we neared the end of our journey, we peered over the side and looked at the abyss, a giant mouth swallowing thousands of gallons of water every minute. We stared in awe as the seemingly tranquil river only a few yards away fell over the edge of the earth into a boiling cauldron, one that is never full and is always thirsty for more.

Thinking is defined as "the activity of the brain that can potentially be communicated." (Kirby et al, 1999) Since communication cannot be achieved without some form of language, it stands to reason that thinking cannot be achieved without language. Language comes in many forms: spoken or audible, visual, or tactile. The only barrier to language is the need for all parties to be communicating in the same language. If thoughts are being communicated between person using different languages then there is no common reference point. The expansion of ones language by understanding and expanding the vocabulary will assist the person with critical thinking. An increasing mastery of a language will allow the person to more easily identify and evaluate evidence to guide

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