I just saw this movie “Waking Life” which is an excellent movie, by the way, and in it I found this particular part, where they speak about the language and words, quite intriguing. To quote Waking Life:
“It’s always our decision, who we are. Creation seems to come out of imperfection. It seems to come out of a striving and a frustration. And this is where I think language came from… I mean, it came from our desire to transcend our isolation… and have some sort of connection with one another.”
And I find it so true! I mean, it was the very need to fulfil man’s loneliness, his emptiness that he created language. And I also love to imagine the first guy to speak just blabbering stuff and using sign language. I mean, I always picture a caveman just going bonkers with his club and trying to tell the caveman in front of him to stop screwing with his wife!
But, on a more serious note, it is this feeling of wanting to express oneself, that led to the invention of language. That’s like telling you it’s the need of transportation/pottery that led to the creation of the wheel, right? I know, Necessity is the mother of Invention, blah blah…
But here’s where I make my point, or rather the woman in Waking Life makes her point:
“But when it gets really interesting, I think, is when we use that same system of symbols to communicate… all the abstract and intangible things that we’re experiencing. What is, like, frustration? Or what is anger or love?
When I say “love”, the sound comes out of my mouth… and it hits the other person’s ear, travels through this Byzantine conduit in their brain, you know, through their memories of love or lack of love, and they register what I’m saying and say yes, they understand.
But how do I know they understand?
Because words are inert. They’re just symbols. They’re dead, you know?”
And that is exactly how I feel! Like words don’t mean a thing! I mean, now-a-days, I’ve seen people use “love” frequently. Like everywhere! Last week, I lent a guy some bucks, he turned to me and said “I love you man!” And I was bewildered! What do you reply to that? I don’t love him. I never had any amorous feelings towards him. Frankly, I don’t even care for him! I know him through college and that’s it! But, he? He loves me!
So you see, for him, the word love doesn’t mean anything! But is he incapable of love? I don’t think so!
Similarly, we know what each word means, either because we were taught or brought up that way, or because Webster (or *insert your dictionary here*) says so. It is only these words that give meaning to the meaningless, and yet have no meaning of their own. Like for example: A pencil. A sudden image that rushes to your mind is that of a wooden object with a lead tip. Now, when you say wooden object, wood/trees is what occupies our mind (same goes for lead). Now, trees, you think of foliage/ the colour green maybe. You see where this is going, right? It is an inception of words, that make absolutely no sense and yet makes the most sense anything could ever make.
Even the great Shakespeare said,
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet”
And I couldn’t agree more! There’s nothing in words which we speak and yet it conveys almost everything one needs to convey.
Books and books, novels, newspapers, media everywhere you turn you are enveloped with nothing but words and more words. Each of them changing their meaning, in every different context.
The very words that my bankrupt friend told me, had it been said by some good lady friend of mine, I would’ve practically gone insane! It is this power of words that makes a pen mightier than a sword!
To all those who endured through this rant of mine, “NO I’M NOT HIGH!” Maybe, bit caffeine high. Or just extremely sleepy. No, that’s not it. I’d go with caffeine high! Yup definitely that.
This is what happens when you watch a philosophical movie and have gulped down 3 cups of rich coffee!