Your unique combination of character qualities and talents are made apparent by the words you use. Words define you.
This is true for spoken or written speech, but as a writer, you can be known for your personal style many years after you’ve laid down your pen.
The words you use, and the way you use them, become your signature style.
Words have meaning. We all know that, of course. I mean, though, that they have meaning far beyond the communications between other creatures. Or they can, if we use them well.
Words shape cultures. They can evoke extremes of love and hate. They can summon wars and inspire treaties.
It’s very easy to take the abilities to speak and to write for granted once you’ve learned them.
But I suggest you keep a childlike appreciation of the wonder of them both.
In ancient days, literacy was a privilege for the elite. Scribes were highly regarded as belonging to a specialized profession.
Having a large proportion of the population literate, as many countries are today, is a relatively new phenomenon.
In countries struggling with poor literacy rates, the ability to write is treated with serious concern. Even in countries with higher literacy rates, such as New Zealand (where I live); educationalists and politicians are constantly battling over literacy rates.
Qualities of language:
Language has the ability, somehow, to bind cultures together, and set boundaries between that culture and the next.
Although there are qualities and actions that are the same across all languages, such as the pleasure of music, or the allure of a smile, languages can also separate and divide.
Written language, in particular, can authenticate a people group as having value and ownership. They can determine political boundaries.
The ability to converse is a gift.
The ability to write is a talent that needs to be cherished.
I’d love to get your feedback. What do you think about the value of language?