- Published on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:42
- Written by Bram Meulenbeld
The importance lies in the fact that it is probably one of our most important ways of communication. I don't want to be derogatory on other types of communications. On the contrary, but language, and to be sure, by language I mean the concept of letters, numbers and/or punctuation marks that can be produced by writing and speaking, plays a predominant role in our society both in rational communication like science throughout having esthetics in its own.
The contradiction with language however is that it also makes communication hard. I am not talking about the so called 'pollution' of language with new words from different origin. For me this is development of language just as mankind develops. I am more enclined to say that too few new words are being created.
I am not so much talking about spelling. For instance if I spell 'years' as 'yeears', I think most people will still know I am talking about years. Of course this also comes in gradations: If I spell 'bar' as 'car' it can create confusion. So I am absolutely not implying that one should just write letters and punctuation marks randomly uolwd, nocsufing, eb, hath. Or grammar: 'readable this still is' but this 'more would be a still lot to be difficult reading'. Or how to use punctuation marks. â€śUsingâ€ť or 'using' I don't even have a clue when to use what. The reason is that I also don't care when I come across them.
Communication is even much harder if you have different types of definitions for a word. The reason why this is making things so hard in discussions is because of several reasons. Firstly a lot of words change their meaning through time. Sometimes rather suddenly because they are associated with bad things. For instance the other day I got in a discussion with someone who referred to the Naziâ€™s as ĂĽbermench. Despite the spelling error the person is referring to the German word â€śĂĽbermenschâ€ť. When I read this word I think of Nietzsche's ĂĽbermensch from â€śThus spoke Zarathustraâ€ť. These types of different interpretations can quite easily be overcome by simply reading the context and see that the person is referring to the Nazi's. I know what the person means but I am still a bit disturbed about how he mis-uses a word. Why use a wrong word for another word you are referring to and just as easily could have used? As you can see, this distracts me personally from the actual content. I even have to admit that it even causes quite a bit of bias towards the person using it.
And than there is even the interpretation of the meaning of the word ĂĽbermensch as used by Nietzsche. I would describe it as one who lives in reality without any fear.
And there you already go how meaningless and confusing language actually is. Some of you will probably think this is not well written because it contains spelling errors, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, it's too short (-sighted), too long, too simple, too complex, I didn't refer to the right things, too ugly, have a different view on the meaning of ĂĽbermench, don't have a bias against certain spelling or grammatical errors, too beuatiful, too natural, do have a bias against certain spelling and grammatical errors, it's pretentious, and all I can't think off but can just as well be the case. All based on this piece of language. And that makes it important again.