American English vs. European English

This video by Michael McIntyre on American Language reminds me Alexis de Tocquevile text when he describes the simplicity of English language in America. He suggests that the fact America was made of unkonwn people coming from many parts of the words made people to use language in a more intuitive way for better communication. For instance, sidewalk instead of pavement. Sidewalk provide a more detail explanation of the action a person is suppose to perform in that specific place.

“Your Morals Depend on Language” a social experiment

Interesting social experiments with regard to the use of native or foreign languages. It suggests that the increased psychological distance of using a foreign language induces utilitarianism. Find bellow the abstract and the link with further details:

Abstract

Should you sacrifice one man to save five? Whatever your answer, it should not depend on whether you were asked the question in your native language or a foreign tongue so long as you understood the problem. And yet here we report evidence that people using a foreign language make substantially more utilitarian decisions when faced with such moral dilemmas. We argue that this stems from the reduced emotional response elicited by the foreign language, consequently reducing the impact of intuitive emotional concerns. In general, we suggest that the increased psychological distance of using a foreign language induces utilitarianism. This shows that moral judgments can be heavily affected by an orthogonal property to moral principles, and importantly, one that is relevant to hundreds of millions of individuals on a daily basis.

Source: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0094842