The words do more than move

The words come alive. I have to admit Brooke really got me started on this thought process with her blog post and while I have many of same feelings toward music and “words” in general, I am going to do my best to present them in my own personal way. And most of those feelings are born when I read books.  When I learned to read when I was younger, I couldn’t stop. mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, you name it, I couldn’t get enough. Anytime I got a new book as a gift, I immediately found somewhere quiet and secluded and began the adventure. I remember many nights of reading until 2 a.m. because there was no way I would be able to sleep if I didn’t finish the story. There is something special and surprisingly personal about reading. The book seems so real, as if the very words themselves pull you into a whole new world. And this is where my thoughts become a jumble. Words are so powerful. They have the lifelike ability to tear people down, build people up, give direction, invoke a command. I am trying to avoid the word “language” because that (I feel) is another animal entirely. But back to words. Each word can have a host of meanings, a varied etymology as we see in the Oxford Dictionary. Thank you Dr. Campbell for introducing me/us to that resource; I find words and their meanings/background so interesting and now I will be using that resource religiously. Everyone looks at a specific word with a different history in how they have used it, seen, heard it used, etc. And that’s what makes it so special; we are always learning from one another, albeit on a seemingly small level of “vocabulary”- if I might interject here, how cool is this word? (vocabulary) It’s literally a word we use to describe words, or how many words people know, however you define it. Dr. Campbell’s recursion is coming up more often than I ever expected. A word can be used in a myriad of situations, and in each situation, it might have a different meaning based on the context and inflection. Books have always been a huge passion of mine. I love smell of them, the feel of them, how it feels to start a book, the satisfaction of finishing one.  The book seems so real, the characters as if they were right beside you. You groan when a character dies, rejoice when the hero wins, and silently congratulate yourself for figuring out who the masked figure was. All this simply because of words typed on a page such as I am doing right now. I am feebly trying to use words to describe words. I don’t do it justice. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, maybe I am just geeking hard, but I can’t help it. I am probably in the middle of 4 different books right now. I can’t get enough. Writing is the greatest invention. Without it, we wouldn’t have much else would we? (insert other words like “communication” and language” etc. writing is the manifestation of such discourses.)

2 thoughts on “The words do more than move

  1. I totally agree with you. What a great point! I love how words can create completely separate fantasy worlds, even if only for the time in which we read the book. I feel that the people who can express themselves and their imaginations well enough to create books should be cherished much more in our society than I think they are.

  2. I noticed your continual reference to the physical object of a book. “The smell of the, the feel of them” seems like an important enough aspect to explicitly make a comment on. You also said that getting a new book was special and you would go off away from everything else to experience and totally immerse yourself in the words. This is just speculative, but I wonder how much the context of your surrounding impact your experience of the words themselves. Do the words of a book mean more in certain places or in certain formats (kindle, paper, audiobook)?

    Also, I too have often wondered about the power words seem to have. I mean they are just words, but as Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I wonder if it is possible to derive the source of their power. Perhaps it is tied to the concepts the words represent.

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