Roddy's Ramblings

Thoughts and tales; some of them may even be true.

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Location: Australia

Hopefully whatever there is to know about me will come through whatever is written below - whatever that may bring...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Circle of language

Language is one of the main things that separates us from the animals. Fair enough. Like everything that is following, this is a generalisation, but one that is not without an anchor. For the purposes of this, it is embedded into the world that I grew up and grow older in.

In my own experience, those of the people I know and that passed down from generations past, it is given that everything goes in circles. Take ones of our own devising, like fashion. Take a step further back and look at trends. Then politics as we drift to the right after the liberal views of the 60s took us to the left. Take a step back and look at other man-made influences affecting our lives, like money. In line with politics we live through depressions and excess, each following the other. Then forget about stepping back in those tiny increments and take a giant leap to language.

Language allowed us to inform through speech and remember through writing. It allowed discussion and debate. Above all else it was our most successful tool. And its use grew and spread and became part of our lives without question. And it developed, its complexity increased and the skill of its use became art.

But is the circle of language starting to form? The use of language has been subverted and is becoming more so with each passing day. We use language to pass on our thoughts, ideas and feelings. The meaning of the word that manipulated this basis has become diminished over time by its granduer - Propaganda. Used by dictorial states to tell people a lie that hides the truth. This in itself was a pretty blunt tool at its inception and worked only without other means to verify its subtext. But like language itself, it developed.

With the accelerated growth of corporate marketing, the consistent spin doctoring of politicians and manipulative control of the media on all fronts, language is being used to hide ideas, blunt debate and, most importantly, direct our thinking. Its use in our working lives, the bombardment of our home lives from media in all its forms is all compacting its use and original intent. How far can it go before language loses its meaning? To quote Harry Nilson, "... a point in every direction is the same as no point at all."

Can the circle of the use of language complete itself to the point where every word means so many things that language means nothing?


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