There are so many times that I hear words come flying from the mouths of relatively sane people that I have to stop and listen just to make sure that it’s not my hearing that is cuckoo. Words will go wherever we point them.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary there are 171,476 English words in current use. Most of us don’t know and use more than a tiny fraction of that total. Personally, I feel comfortable with dozens of those words.
When I watch people pontificating on TV I think that the number of words being correctly tossed about drops into single digits. The closer affiliations with so-called “News” networks and “Think Tanks” the fewer words fit well in their pockets. “Talking Heads” are just that – babbling disconnected basketballs of opinion that make noise, but little else. And some of them do dribble. They are “Heads”, without Hearts.
Most mornings I get up and go to what my wife calls my “Play Group” – coffee in the corner with the Usual Suspects. W sip and chatter back and forth about…about…stuff. Nothing is off-limits – except, by mutual consent – Politics. Unfortunately, like most mutual agreements, it is ignored much too often.
On those mornings when the conversation wanders into things political I try to maintain my silence and avoid hurting any feelings. It took some time, but the others eventually learned to leave me out of it. If someone slips up and tries to draw me into the spitting contest I give them my standard, one size fits all, answer, “How about them Cubbies?”
I’m always willing to talk Baseball.
Language is a fluid thing. I love to roll around in it like a yellow tabby cat in a roomful of catnip. It brings me Joy. It teaches me things, and it makes me laugh. Boy, does it ever make me laugh. Like a “Lifetime Guarantee” that comes with restrictions.
For too many people Language is a weapon. They take a word and force-feeding it a new definition onto it and then using it as a blunt object to define, decry, and demean other people. I don’t like that, but I don’t think I can ever stop it – alone. It would take something I don’t care to put into words.
I like to use words like they are feathers. They can tickle you and me. They can make us sneeze a reaction, or they can be waved to cool our fevered brows. That is why I write. Why I do this blog.
I wrestle with the Language on a daily basis to discipline myself. I write every day so that I can keep my brain well oiled and create the things that I post on Saturdays and the things that I intend to publish into the Mainstream.
Language is as tough as Steel and as delicate as an Orchid. It can Make and it can Break. It can Torment and it can Comfort.
And it can be a heck of a lot of Fun whatever your Point of View.