I’m convinced that my thoughts are influenced by the language that I use. Unclear language. I am not sure whether my thoughts have always been unclear, and ever since I could utter language, this has been a consequence, or whether my constant exposure to unclear language has affected my thoughts about it. I am inclined to believe the later. My thoughts are a result of unclear language. After all, at the beginning of everything is the word.
Words are what surround my thoughts. I use words and believe that the words hold some power. Words in the both languages that I know (maybe just utter) fascinate me. I constantly hear them, (mis)read them, (mis)speak them and (mis)write them. Sometimes after using a word or a phrase for a thousand times, I say it again and it strikes me as extraordinarily odd. The oddness of a word or expression leads me to wonder why I just uttered it. Why it sounds so strange? And now, why had I just used it there in that context? I hear this and think, “More so, perhaps, than it appears to you who have enormous freedom of speech, and might therefore assume that words are not so important. They are. They are important everywhere.” Fuck I, must really stop (mis)using my words. Important, perhaps but constantly misused – or over used, im not sure but constantly falling short. Becoming clichés, such as, “fall short” or worse, meaningless, uttered nothing, lack of silence and nothing more.
Over time, I have become more unclear, or idealistic in my thoughts due to an abundant use of imprecise words. If words have incredible power, why then do I misuse them? Will this lack of clarity continue? It is hard not to think so, with twenty-four hour media coverage of subjects, develops a communicative environment of filling silence with words. Only the fear of repetition has instilled in me, but not (a far more damaging) fear of overstatement. I live in an environment that seems to thrive on the over accumulation of vague words in order to explain and therefore promote a lack of clarity. An example of overstatement is: Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgments. And what is words like: terrorism, freedom, reform, and change, organic, green, and sustainable…
What is terrorism? A war on terror, perhaps? A group of terrorist? Are we in a war with a feeling? A state of terror? It is surprising what a word can do; some have the power to change the world. Our brains are washed in words, but the words that hide what is really meant or felt are increasingly holding a tighter grip on our thoughts. If language is heading in an imprecise direction, will all our thoughts follow? I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and George Orwell have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism?
“The same word can be humble at one moment and arrogant the next. And a humble word can be transformed easily and imperceptibly into an arrogant one, whereas it is a difficult and protracted process to transform an arrogant word into one that is humble.”