What is the Language Using Us For? #3






What is the language using us for?
It uses us all and in its dark
Of dark actions selections differ.

The “dark of dark actions” really gets to the heart, for me, of how little I’m truly conscious of the language machine whirring, purring (more often stuttering, spluttering) away in my head.

As I begin writing this sentence you’re reading, I’m only faintly aware of how it will be shaped as I proceed from clause to clause, what words will adhere to the unfolding of thought. And will they be the right words? What are the right words?

Well, surely the words that at once encapsulate a thought a person like you or I might have, but also the words that take you beyond that inchoate, semi-formed smother of perceptions, assumptions, apprehensions, reflections; words that create something half-you-half-other. Which is perhaps to say: half-you-half-new.

For you are generally the same old words constellating in pretty much the same old patterns in your head, your daily thought combos wearing everyday apparel. But in the crafty dexterity of manipulating language for our own purposes (or at least the purposes we think are “ours”), we may, for just a punctuated beat or two, feel like we’ve netted something tasty and good, something somehow “better” (for new is always better, isn’t it?) than what we’ve always had.{{1}}.

[[1]]That word “net” has suddenly reminded me that I need to re-read and maybe listen again to the wonderful BBC3 documentary about Graham’s ‘Nightfishing’ (which I’ll share with you here until someone tells me to take it down)[[1]]

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