Saturday, January 28, 2012

How Words Sit and Argue

Language is always an abbreviation.

People like convenience. They shorten their greetings and their farewells to be courteous yet short. A grunt might suffice for an acknowledgement. A look for a yes or no. Thus it is that language comes in and goes out. Even an "in" word gets shortened over time, and its meaning changes as it goes. They even shorten each other's names. Speaking is not saying your meaning. The words you choose, sounds, looks you give are a queerer but more communicative language.

Languid, its allies' answer abounds.

I disagree. People come to their meaning slowly, as I do. Almost lazily. The norm is to give more words than are necessary. Shorter words, maybe. But always more. It takes more time, but the meaning comes faster. As for looks and grunts, I worry my ally has spent too much time in the world, and less pouring over books. People may like convenience, but writers prefer length and depth. As do I.

Gulls sit elsewhere; swear bonds.

Both are fouled. They are seagulls, prating and arguing over who is right. Each swears to their side, one with looks and one with books. They promise to follow their laws they come up with and they break them. Neither sits on the outside, as a storyteller should. Neither sees both arguments and disregards them. Neither understands that all of the answers are right. And all the answers are wrong. Why can't we have both and all, my swearing seagulls? Do not prate. Listen again.

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