Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Any word will do. . .

Part of the poverty of the language is when its nuance is distilled into the fewest expressions possible.  While some might think that this means communication and understanding are enhanced, the reality is the exact opposite.  The celebrated tragedy of but one word that monopolizes the conversation with many meanings that are left to the ear to hear is the word love.  A large vocabulary does not so much mean that the person is erudite or educated or even audacious but it might mean that the person wishes to be understood correctly.

Growing up watching and listening to William F. Buckley, I learned many a new word.  Some of them I never used and probably never will and others I have used often.  But he brings up a point.  We would not have to many different words that slightly distinguish similar things were it not for the fact that the language is trying to be precise.


Of course, where this is more than curiosity or passing interest is when you are translating words from one language to another.  Of particular interest on the video was the idea that many Greek words would be translated together into one English word for righteousness.  Righteousness is already one of those old words that is used in Church and seldom elsewhere.  What happens when you try to unpack that word with the nuance intent upon the text from the original?  

There are many things that could be said but the dumbing down of our conversation and the impact of technology upon that dialog (texting, for example) has left our language impoverished and detracted from our ability to communicate things clearly -- much less communicate the one thing needful clearly.  

Much to think about here.  Most of it beyond the purview of this blog.  Ahhhh, I wish I had more time and more words.  Isn't that the lament of every wordsmith?

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