The Birth of a Word


In Deb Roy’s “The Birth of a Word”, we see the amazing and frightening uses of technology, and the relationship it has with our language. This particular family in this video decided that they wanted to understand how their child learned to speak. They chose to record every moment of their lives adding up to an unexplainable amount of video. When you hear that a family is recording their entire life and everything you do in it, the idea seems crazy. But, as you watch on you see the magnificent findings that this family has. The family focused all their attention on the newborn and used an outrageous amount of technology to track his development. Everything from colors, to movements, to communication was tracked and the outcome is absolutely incredible. In the video, we are able to see the amazing development of the word water and its crazy to think that we even have the ability to track it. 

When you first think of a family recording their entire life, including visitors, friends, other family members, you immediately think they’re insane (at least i did). However, as this video goes on, you can see the pure passion that this father has for finding his child’s development of language. All the thoughts of insanity, craziness, etc. go out the window when we realize that beauty that technology has given us. Not one thing has been left out of this study. There was no room for mistakes, and nothing was left misplaced. The technology that is used in this experiment i’m sure is extraordinary and extremely difficult to decode, but the passion and discovery makes it all seem so simple and worth while. 

At the beginning of The Birth of a Word, Deb Roy states imagine if you could record your life, your memories, everything available in a little memory store so you could go back and relive memorable moments and sift through patterns in your own life that had previously gone undiscovered. Roy takes this statement, and brings it to life. We constantly see how technology evolves each year and see how much it allows us to discover. Why not take advantage of this evolution and use it to its fullest, just as Deb Roy did?


3 responses to “The Birth of a Word

  1. This was so interesting! I agree at first I thought it was a little creepy to follow every single movement of someone! Their findings are so incredible and interesting,though! It’s crazy to see how far language has come since I was a little girl and I’m not even that old!

  2. It’s amazing how something so creepy like video taping and monitoring every step of the way your child learns to speak can turn into a beautiful process. In my opinion, what this family did was amazing. I completely agree that at first it sounds like an insane idea, but the outcome is awesome. This family now has live footage of how their child learned to speak. How many families can actually say that? Although sometimes technology is used for negative purposes, I think we need to start focusing on all of the good things technology has to offer us, especially as it becomes more advanced.

  3. So when I was watching the video I couldn’t help but think, well i’m glad this is only a baby, because if it was a teen they would not be having any of that! It was creepy but once I got over that i thought, they would never had to worry about forgetting anything that happened. But then I thought, would I want to remember everything, no because I like sitting down looking at old pictures and some memories come back and the ones that don’t my dad or brother tell me the story! I’d rather have that then looking at a video tape for everything.

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