Toward a World Pedagogy of Positiveness: A Plea

POETRY FORMAT, 11 May 2015

Francisco Gomes de Matos – TRANSCEND Media Service

Sad to see that in my parts of the world there is increasing  negativity,
which calls for educators everywhere to enhance the power of positivity

If we look at Positiveness and Negativity in the History of Languages will be shown?
Will uses of those two concepts in spoken/written vocabulary have grown?

Let´s look at four pairs of antonyms in English and see what they reveal
Taking their year of entry into written English, using evidence that is real

In written English, before the adjective NEGATIVE had made its visual debut,
POSITIVE was already available to language users, as a good point of view
(Negative: from 1350; positive: from 1250)

In written English, before the noun PESSIMISM appeared from 1785
OPTIMISM had already been introduced from 1730 and it was to thrive

If we keep adding to this list of   positive X negative contrasts, a surprising fact will be found
sometimes it is the negative concept that precedes what is considered sound

Thus, the adjective DESTRUCTIVE entered written English from 1480
but its opposite  CONSTRUCTIVE was not visually born until 1670

Also UNHAPPINESS was already being expressed in writing from 1250
whereas HAPPINESS  would only be visually represented  from 1520

Since in the history of Humankind, GOOD and EVIL coexist
how can we do our very best for POSITIVENESS  to persist?

By teaching language users to build and enhance their vocabulary of POSITIVIZERS
by choosing positive words, expressions and phraseologies which can
meet our  communicative needs as Positive World  organizers

In this age of increasing shameful, violent, killing negativity,
a plea is made for educators to help citizens  become
dignifiers and peace-builders deeply committed to positivity

Francisco Gomes de Matos, Ph.D. is an applied peace linguist from Recife, Brazil. He has degrees in Languages, Law, and Linguistics. He is Professor Emeritus at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco where he is active in the Dom Hélder Camara Human Rights Commission. He is one of the pioneers in Linguistic Rights (author of 1984 Plea for a Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights) and in the emerging area of Peace Linguistics. Currently he is President of the Board, Associação Brasil América ( He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 11 May 2015.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Toward a World Pedagogy of Positiveness: A Plea, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Comments are closed.