The weight of words, the importance of language (crosspost)

I was inspired to write today by something I read.  Normally when that happens it’s because I like what I read, but today’s post was a sort of low-level tirade about the unexpected use of coarse language in otherwise normal literature.  Since it wasn’t strictly a book review, I put it over on my other blog instead of here.

Because there is not 100% overlap between readers of this blog and my other, I considered whether I should re-blog myself, or if that would be tacky.  Then I decided to make my own rules, so here is a snippet and the link:

The weight of words, the importance of language

Some people would have us take derogatory terms less seriously, claiming that they are “just words.”  Words only have meaning because we have given them meaning, they say, and they only have power if we let them.  This is all true, but it seems to argue for something that I cannot get behind – making words less meaningful and powerful.

Why would we want to do that?

Language is one of the most significant tools we humans have at our disposal.  Without written and verbal communication, we are so isolated, so alone.  With language, we have spread across the entire globe, prospered and cooperated, done terrible and beautiful things.  It is one of the few things that sets us apart from our animal brethren.  Its worth should never be underestimated.

I hope you’ll head over there and read the full post, if you’re interested.  For those of you who follow both of my blogs, thank you, and my apologies for the dual post.  I’m going to do it over at elizabethly as well, for my Eat & Run review, so consider yourself warned.

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About Elizabeth M. Lee

I love to read, write, and take nature photos. I do other stuff, too.
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