Duality in Languages

Photo by Ren Gillard on Unsplash


Can colors be considered as a counter-example? We do have black and white colors along with gray to specify a color somewhere in between. Our color perception varies. When it comes to colors other than white, we have got a wide variety of colors. Once again, we have no clue where the boundaries of color start and where they end. Just ask any person to give the name of color pointing to a particular point in the grayscale, color scale, or a color palette. This will eventually lead us to an interesting debate.


Another example is how some ancient and even a few recent documents focused on a particular gender, totally ignoring the other genders. Duality in languages assumed for quite a long time that there are only two genders: man and woman.


We do have precise scientific terms for the human species: homo sapiens sapiens. We also have precise measuring devices and precise ways to represent different measurements. Yet, their usage is quite rare outside the scientific and technical circles. It is time to encourage the use of precise words and also ensure inclusive writing.


  1. Stylebooks finally embrace the single ‘they’
  2. Gender neutrality in languages with gendered third-person pronouns



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John Samuel

John Samuel

Data Science Research, Photography, Art and Traveling