Sunday, February 21, 2010


Another week heralds in another blog entry. What to discuss? What to say that will conveniently use slightly over five hundred words? How about words themselves. How did we decided that “u-n-p-o-p-u-l-a-r” meant that someone was not well liked? And how did the earliest humans decide to connect meaning to the noises they discovered that they were capable of meaning? Why have we allowed our lives to become so governed by words? We listen to people who speak words. We expect people to stop everything and listen whenever we decide that it is our turn to release strange sounds that society has hooked a meaning to. We read words. See words. Believe words. But what are they? They are only what we allow ourselves to see them as. If the entire population decided that “d-o-g” no longer meant a four legged mammal that often dwells with humans, comes in a thousand different shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be seen once a year being paraded around by their owner in a large show hosted by Eukanuba and broadcasted by Animal Planet what would we do? Would d-o-g-s cease to exist? Absolutely not. The fluffy creatures would still be adored by humans. So what is the power of a word? Certainly not actually the word itself but simply the idea or image that we have been programmed to associate with that sound or form. So what is the point of words? Communication. It would simply take to long to convey ideas if there were no symbols or sounds that represented them. So I am placing five hundred essentially meaningless clumps of black lines on a sheet of virtual paper. Why? To convey an idea. If we were not taught what these clumps meant, how they sounded, what they suggested this page would carry no greater meaning than a child’s senseless scratches on the side of a coloring book page. So why do they mean so much to us? At times words are tedious and hard to use and at other times they seem to flow effortlessly from the speaker or writer. These changes correspond directly with the ease of ideas because words are nothing more that our human desire to place a concrete sound to a complicated emotion or realization. Are they always interesting? No. They are not interesting now. I am tired translating ideas to words. A great deal of understanding and insight will always be lost in the process. Words can be counted and measured, like grains of rice or miles of highway. Yet they, in and of themselves, are infinitely more useless. One can not eat words or travel along them to visit a loved one. Words are used to lie. To spread dissention. To show hatred or disgust. Some use words to show love or hope but these emotions are cheapened by the short human scrawl that is intended to represent them. One can say “ I l-o-v-e y-o-u” and mean absolutely nothing. Words mean nothing and are nothing until we allow them to.


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