Journal — December 21, 2016 — language
Today is the 28th winter solstice of my life, and I’m starting a blog.
A little voice in my mind screams and screams, crying “let it not be so”, when I think about what this means. It’s going to be like recovering from muscular atrophy. I made a blog once before, but I had different intentions then. I only wanted to write. Now I want to communicate,From Latin commūnicātus, which in turn comes from commūnis, the same etymological root that led to communitas (community). and that brings a whole other set of challenges with it.
Today I resolved to develop four of my weaknesses into strengths, over the next year:
- CommonCommon belongs to this verbal lineage, too. resources.
- Common language.
- The will to arrive.
- The will to receive.
To communicate, I need to use a common language. That should be pretty obvious, but it’s a point I’ve often missed. I’m one of these thinking-type people, meaning I spend an unusually large amount of my time talking to myself.Silently. Because, whether or not I’m crazy, I am at least polite. Language is a living thing, with new branches always growing, and old ones dying away. The more it’s used, the more it changes, and within my own mind I use language a lot. Because of that, I now share very little of my language in common with anyone else.
Another kind of keyboard, for another kind of language. A picture is worth a thousand words. (source) For example: the word language itself. What is a language? It certainly isn’t a list of words. It isn’t even a list of words with meanings attached. It doesn’t have anything to do with words at all, necessarily. There are also programming languages, and the languages of mathematics. Other animals have languages, too; language is older than humanity. In fact, language is older than biological life.Astute readers will point out the redundancy in the term biological life, here. Wise readers will then slap their foreheads. It’s terrible to be an astute reader.
The hills have a language. The way water moves is a language. Physics itself – not our understanding of it, but the actual way that the universe works – is a language. Every language is part of some greater language, until you come to some infinitely vast original thing that might be what those guys were thinking of when they wrote, “In the beginning was the Word”,Most likely all English speakers recognize this quote, already. John 1:1. or what those other guys meant with, “The name that can be named is not the eternal name.”Beginning of the Tao Te Ching.
Language isn’t only what is spoken. Language is what unfolds.