The Quality of our Language

 New York Times
Opinion | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
The Boys Are Not All Right
By MICHAEL IAN BLACK, FEB. 21, 2018

The article linked above is quite a read from the NYT. If I may add a small bit to this heartfelt discussion: the author talks about how we as males lack the language to talk about difficult feelings. At least part of that is a lack of broad language in general. As George Carlin reminded us, we think in language, and the quality of our language affects the quality of our thought. Boys will acquire more language tools through reading than any other method, and as for the depth of language, that comes through engagement in longer texts (not necessarily long books, but often long series where the reader can engage with characters through many situations). The fact that reading is seen as tied to age or skill level rather than brain development and psychological readiness alienates boys from reading, making it unnecessarily hard and pointlessly irrelevant. Boys often don’t read because we adults make reading foreign to many boys, the more struggling the boy, the greater the isolation. Do I think promoting reading in more boy-friendly ways will end mass shooting, violence against women, or teen suicide? No. But it may be one way to move forward against these stark and complicated realities.