I don’t know why I stopped blogging.
Maybe I thought my meanderings were somewhat irrelevant.
Well, they are… unless they’re not… but that’s not the reason I started blogging in the first place.
I blog because I love playing with words. I love to see how they join together to express a thought… a feeling… a conviction… a mood. I love to see how one word begs to replace another, so that a phrase is more precise, or more powerful. I love how carefully chosen words can make a thought mellifluous… worthy of being sung, or recited lovingly by candlelight.
I believe in choosing words carefully, so they do not hurt the reader. I have used words maliciously, and with them, I have shamefully bruised other human beings more viciously than I could with my fists, or with weapons. But I’ve also used words to express repentance, to beg for forgiveness, to express affection, to vow everlasting faithfulness, to proclaim my love.
I like words. I like little ones that everyone knows, and big ones I have to look up every time I come across them. I seem to be learning fewer and fewer new ones every day, and that fills me with sorrow and frustration, because in addition to the thirty thousand or so that I know, there are more than five million of which I’m unaware… and that’s in English alone!
I like words that come from different languages. Like me, they make themselves at home in a new land, and expose those around them to new ways of thinking and expressing themselves. Some concepts that would require many words in one language are so easily captured by a “bon mot” in another. Is there a better way to exclaim pride in the accomplishment of one’s children that by using the Yiddish word “naches?” Or to bask in the “schadenfreude” of seeing karma kick an enemy’s ass?
Is there a more childish, mischievous pleasure than using a naughty word where one is neither expected nor appropriate? Can anything relieve anger and frustration more completely than the thunderous release of an obscenity?
Oh, I do like words. All of them. I like the ones that are older than civilization and the new ones that crop up like weeds. Today, the word that everyone is using comes from a presidential typo: “covfefe.” It has captured the popular imagination even before it has acquired a meaning. Is it something one drinks, like coffee? Is it a place where people converge, like a coven? Is it a foreign meal, like a “fufu?”
New words are like new toys. Playing with them can, and should be, delightful. However, like toys that children can swallow, new words can become dangerous things that inflict harm on others.
Right now, most people are using the new word “covfefe” derisively. They are using it to mock the person who originated it, implying that they are smarter, better, more sophisticated, better educated. They are, in fact, basking in the schadenfreude of seeing him make a fool of himself by trying to say something with a word that does not exist.
They have a right to do this, of course… but I’m sad to see that they are sorting this new word into the Slytherin of cruel expressions.
If new words are to be coined, I’d like to see them be used to express tolerance… solidarity… loyalty… cooperation… forgiveness.
Let’s use words to be kind.