Life

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 24: Language

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24languageI suppose that, as a writer, language should become somewhere closer to the beginning of the list, but I don’t stress too hard about the order of things after family.

It is worth stating outright that I love words. I love to play with words, to create and manipulate words. Poems and articles and stories, working within and around the rules of grammar built by generations gone before me in their quest to communicate ever more complicated ideas to each other while not losing the simpler, more fundamental one.

Language is awesome. We can do so much with it, express so many things. Language, and its child writing, allow our society to exist and grow beyond the spoken tradition and the limits of individual human memory. What I write today might be read idly by someone a hundred or a thousand or a billion years from now. As long as it’s stored somewhere, and there someone who understands the language, it will never be lost.

Language can preserve my thoughts and feelings, create stories, and send ideas.

But I almost think the most wonderful thing about language is that there’s more than one. And while the world shrinks and more of us can come together and communicate with each other using common languages, none of us use our own language the same way, much less the thousands of others spread across our tiny planet.

Hello.

Bonjour.

Goddag.

Guten tag.

Hola.

Konnichiwa.

Përshëndetje.

Saluton.

Geia sas.

Namastē.

Hujambo.

Salom.

NuqneH.

And that’s only the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

English is a frustrating, inconsistent, obnoxious joy to work with, but it’s not the only language available. I doubt I’ll ever learn enough of another to write competently in it, but there is great pleasure to be found in trying.

Be well, everyone. Soyez bien, tout le monde.

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