Okay, I think is one of those meta posts, given the name of the blog. I don’t even know what meta is. More importantly, I like myself just a little less every time I say meta.
So words. Clearly I have a love affair with language. The ardor comes from somewhere, but I don’t spend too much time trying to trace the origin of my passion. If you’re lucky enough to have passion, go with it.
They’ll be no droning on about vocabulary or high-handed verbiage and how it can elevate you above the dross that is most of our daily conversations… wait, am I doing it now? Son of a—
Here’s what’s puzzling. In school, they beat kids over the head with grammar and stories and literature and books and on and on. Rarely is it mentioned how important these little symbols are, these little turns of phrase and expressions. Where did they come from? Who decided this stuff? I kind of know, but do I really?
So here’s a theory. Anything that everyone does is important. Everyone (of course there are exceptions and I mean the opposite of whatever offensive is here when it comes to the disadvantaged) is speaking, writing, typing—frigging communicating. Everything that comes out of your tongue, tweets, Facebook posts, God forbid, letters, goes down on the permanent record that is you.
Not to freak you out or anything. Nobody’s perfect, so I say let it fly. Big words, little words, test your boundaries, find out what works and why. Language is an infinite thing and its uses are limitless. Think of the days, nay the hours, nay the lives shaped by five or ten words used in the correct way at the right time. Don’t think so? Bet you I can prove it.
Pulling out the big guns. Some people just have it when it comes to words. Let’s go with Churchill. Before I go on, be it known that before he was a soldier or statesman or hero or world leader, Churchill was a writer. The man could turn a phrase. He owns many of my favorite expressions. This one came at one of the darkest times in the history of Western Civilization: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” That’s seventeen words. That’s a real writer.
But I told you I’d prove it, didn’t I? Yep. Here, old Winston was referring to the sacrifice of the pilots and the guys that got them up in the air during the Battle of Britain, the one that held off the Nazis and gave us Yanks time to get our heads in the game. It’s fair to say that most of those brave souls perished all the way back in 1940. That’s a lot of lost potential and a lot of mourning. Immeasurable, really. But I bet one weeping mother or father heard those words and their pain turned to pride. A loss that meant nothing but everlasting grief was turned into something else, something with a deeper meaning. Seventeen words.
Later my friends. See you after.