When the piece of Date an Illiterate Girl became viral, it inspired a lot of versions of “who to date” write-ups. We have Date a girl who Reads, Date a Girl who Writes, Date a Poet and more. I wanted also to write my own adaptations like Date a boy who Reads, Don’t Date a Boy who Reads, or Date a Boy who Writes. They are just so fun to write and read that I have a mental draft for these but I throw them in my trash bin of thoughts. I do not want to promulgate an idea that we like people based on eloquence and rhetoric. Putting weight on person’s linguistic ability does not give justice at all. Language is not equivalent to intelligence. It is just a means to express.
They say, action speaks louder than words but sometimes words have a triple effect. Words are not only combination of alphabets, characters, and syllables. It fuels discussions and I think most of the arguments we have are largely based on definition of terms. Hence in every formal debate, it begins with a definition of terms.
Once you release a word, it has a life of its own. This is the reason why Shakespeare ends his sonnets with a promise of immortality. As written in Sonnet 18:
“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”
The words we utter go beyond our intention. It communicates more than it should.
Hence, never underestimate what words can do. If we could change the world with words,why not? As what Marius said to dying Eponine, “If only words could close your wounds with words of love.” As written in Proverbs 16:24 said:
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb. Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
When words speak louder……
Words create image
You may not notice it but sometimes people build their image by playing with words. Note the difference “I sing” is different from “I’m a singer.” “I type” is different from “I’m a typist.” “I love him” is different from “I’m his lover.” “I nurse him” is different from “I’m a nurse.” “I write” is different from “I’m a writer.” I cannot help but think that sometimes verbs are more accurate than nouns. It’s just a simple choice of words yet it makes a difference on how we make impressions.
Words add layers of thoughts
Words evolve as we grow old. We interpret words differently. For instance, the word, “’sexy” or “hot.” Sometimes we like to receive this as compliments but trying to contextualize these words in pop culture can lead to another level of thought.
Words define experience
There are some things that cannot be translated in a particular language. You have to experience words to know what they actually mean. If a certain word is not present in you language, it means it is not part of your culture.
My two favorite words are not even found in the dictionary. There are “chos” and “naks.” They serve as replacement for “just kidding” but not entirely the same. They are not actual words. They are interjections that most of the time are use in speech and sometimes in blogs, informal letters. They may sound nonsense but they change the course of conversation. The occurrence of these expressions speak of how we find the need to make a conversation light.
Words can change our perspective
“Dreams” is a better word for “delusions.” “Developing country” is better than an “underdeveloped country.”As what I wrote in my blog post: “Instead of using the word, “accept,” use “receive.” These two words may sound synonymous but they can change how you think. “Accept” is often combined with negative thoughts. “ I accept failure.””I accept rejection.” “Receive” on the other hand, is more related on positive things. “I receive a gift.” “I receive a letter.” “I receive a blessing.””
Our choice of words reflect how optimistic and pessimistic we are.
As much as words can empower, it will always have limits.
My favorite poet Sarah Kay has stressed that in her poem Postcards
Is there a word for the moment you win tug of war?
When the weight gives and all that extra rope comes tumbling towards you.
How even though you’ve won you still wind up with muddy knees and scratches on your hands.
Is there a word for that? I wish there was.
I would have said it.
When we were finally alone together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say.
Still now, I send letters into space.