We all use words in some manner or another. These might be spoken words, written words, signed, sung, babbled or whispered, but we find ways to use variations of words to communicate. These words stem from hundreds of different languages communicated from hundreds of different countries across the globe. We “speak” words to express love, to tell tasteful (and tasteless) jokes, to orate great tales of new and old; and sadly, words are sometimes used to express hate or worse. Regardless of the way in which words are used, they play a significance role in our lives.
The same set of words can be formed to narrate a best-selling novel or to complete a hilarious set at your local comedy club. These words can compose a historical inauguration address or be the framework of a heartbreaking best man’s speech at a wedding party. In 10,000 years, whether technology is exponentially advanced or non-existent, we can rely on some form of language to survive beyond our years.
We use language and words for so many significant and trivial reasons that we can often take them for granted. I am not an etymologist, nor do I play one on TV, but the history of certain words often tell a more impressive story than the ones written from those words.
You might be familiar with the pangram, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” from your early days of typing (a pangram is a phrase that contains all letters of an alphabet at least once = gold star word). From a subset of those same set of letters, you could tell a special someone, “I love you so much.” You could also spell out a not-quite-as-romantic proclamation, “I love your butt.” One could also express, “I hate your blog on words.” With only very minor adjustments, our words can be full of love, fetishes or criticism…
My hope is that society continues to evolve, both technologically and socially, and we embrace our language to help further this evolution. This year’s political environment has shown both sides of the equation on the impact of words; I’ll let you be the judge on which side comes out on top.
And let’s not forget that words can be used to make money. I strongly encourage you to buy my book when I get around to writing it.