Hello again Gentle Reader(s?),
If you read the title of this post, you may believe that I am going to speak, or write, about words. Or, at least with words. At least.
Well, you may be surprised to discover that you believe, at least, somewhat correctly.
Yes, I am going to use words in this particular post to describe things called “words”. Words that speak of things. Wordy things.
Words are the things that make up a spoken language. Spoken Language is something that allows human persons to communicate clearly amongst themselves when utilizing their inherant things called “vocal cords”.
Language and vocal cords, of course, are mutually beneficial concepts which greatly enhance the intended use of each of their intended functions: Making audible sounds and making those sounds intelligible to another human within hearing range.
Think of it this way…
Without vocal cords, spoken language would not be very useful. At all. And without spoken language, made up of words, vocal cords wouldn’t have a lot to say. Oh, you might get an occasional “Ugh” or “Mmphf” or “Ahhhhh”, but beyond that they would spend a lot of time wondering why they were there at all.
Let’s create, using words, an example of that of which, using words, I speak…
Let’s say that my wife, Judy (a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords.
This is where spoken language enters the picture.
She calls out to me and, using words, says something like, “Oh Bill, my love, please purchase some toilet paper while you are at the store. Not the kind you got last time because I didn’t like that, but the kind I always get when I purchase toilet paper. You know, the extra super hyper soft tripple layered kind with little pillow things woven in. Get that, please.”
Using language, made up of words, she has made her request quite clear and distinct. I would have no problem deciphering her desire for comfortable toilet paper.
But what if there were no such thing as words? What if spoken language was limited to a few grunts and unintelligible sounds emanating from her nearly useless vocal cords?
Let’s see what would happen…
Let’s say that my wife, Grblmphf (remember, a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords. But, alas, there is no language for her to speak because there are no words available for utilization in putting her desire into, well, words.
All she can say is, “Ugh mmphf ahh enh.”
I think you can see the dilemma here. I know that she is thinking something. It has to do with me, or she wouldn’t have tried to say something to me. My mind rushes to try to figure out exactly what she is attempting to put accross to me as I walk out the door to head to the grocery store. Hmmm…
She is addressing me. Or maybe the dog. No, it has to be me because the dog is in the back yard urinating on the formerly lush lawn.
Maybe she is trying to inform me that the dog is urinating on the lawn. No, that can’t be it because she knows that I know that the dog is urinating on the lawn.
Hmmm… I’m on my way to the grocery store, so maybe that’s what she’s trying to get across to me. She wants me to drive carefully!
No, that can’t be it. She knows that I drive carefully all of the time.
Maybe she wants me to get something at the store. YES!!! That has to be it!
Hmmm… What could she want me to get? What are we out of? What is important enough to make her grunt at me?
I proceed to the store and take shot in the dark.
Thirteen hours later, I return from the grocery store, having spent $7,346.72 on one each of everything in the store.
Except toilet paper. (I actually put some into one of the 17 shopping carts I utilized, but when I went up to pay for everything, my credit card came up 27.00 short, so I had to put the toilet paper back in order to buy everything else.) I figure I am covered… I am not…
I try to explain myself, “Uhn gmphf ooog mlmp,” but to no avail. She isn’t having a word of it. Mostly because words do not exist.
Can you see how important words are? Without words, we could have no spoken language. Without spoken language, we would have to rely on the few sounds our, otherwise useless, vocal cords could make. Relying on those sounds, we would have to spend much of our lives trying to read everybody else’s mind. And without the ability to read everybody else’s mind, we would all go broke at the grocery store.
So, Gentle Reader(s?), be grateful for words.
Until next time, using words, speak kindly to everybody with whom you come into contact. Use grunts if you have to…
PS – I had Judy read this. When she was done, I asked her what she thought. Her reply?
“I have no words…”