Knowing is smelling…

At first glance we all consider language as simply a method of communication. In reality language is a major benefactor of culture. This extends to the idea that culture shapes language; as well as language shaping culture. In continuation, the combination of language and culture has the ability evoke changes in cognition and perception.

With this in mind Gregory J. Downey suggests that, “Whether the ways in which we talk affect what we see, hear or feel. Now attention is shifting to smell.”

The interpretation of this statement is that of words having the ability to enhance smell and overpower the function of odor by itself. Charles Darwin said, ”Olfaction was of extremely slight service”. The power of linguistics facilitates in perceiving sensory experiences. Although it is primarily the nose that detects, it is the language that reinforces understanding. The larger the lexicon of scent descriptive words, the better the interpretation of smell. Certain regions have access to a diverse and more sophisticated vocabulary for aroma. Therefore the as noted the discernment of smell will be of a much higher level as potentially ranking smells as repulsive or pleasant. In practicality attaching a name to a smell won’t alter its intensity but it will make it more defined in our experience.