Modernity and Ambivalence

It is because of the anxiety that accompanies it and the indecision which follows that we experience ambivalence as a disorder – and either blame language for lack of precision or ourselves for linguistic misuse. And yet ambivalence is not the product of the pathology of language or speech. It is, rather, a normal aspect of linguistic practice. It arises from one of the main functions of language: that of naming and classifying. Its volume grows depending on the effectivity with which that function is performed. Ambivalence is therefore the alter ego of language, and its permanent companion – indeed, its normal condition.

Introduction in Modernity and Ambivalence  by ZYGMUNT BAUMAN

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