Our thoughts live in natural and artificial languages the
way fish swim in natural and artificial bodies of water.
One of the lessons most strikingly impressed on me by my first-year physics course and the mass of collateral reading I did at the time was to guard against the errors that arise from “projecting the properties and structures of any language or symbol system on the external world”. This was mentioned especially often in discussions of quantum mechanics — it was a common observation that our difficulties grasping wave-particle duality might be due to our prior conditioning to see the world through the lenses of our subject-predicate languages and logics. Soon after, I learned about the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, and today I lump all these cautionary tales under the heading of GRAM (“Grammar Recycled As Metaphysics”).