THE PURPOSE OF WORDS
“What is the purpose of words?”
IN THE WORDLESS WORLD
In the wordless world, purpose, stories, gods, religions, politics, and science, to name a few, are some of the things the wordless don’t have to deal with. Hence, not knowing the purpose of words is alright for obvious reasons in the wordless world.
IN THE WORDY WORLD
With words added to the mix, everything changes. Which explains why in the wordy world, everything we think, see, hear, feel, taste, touch, and smell is a word. For anyone born on the wordy side of the family tree, there is no escape, we’re all in this together, and paying attention to words only confirms you cannot learn less.
With words not only dominating our lives but creating it, traditional answers to “What is the purpose of words?” are along the lines of “Why do you ask?” or “It depends on whom you ask,” and an occasional “The purpose of words is to mean different things to different people” thrown in for good measure, I presume.
It’s alright, except with answers like these, the next generations’ chances of ending up any less confused than we are, are a million to one (average).
Fact is, it would seem for words to happen, fire, earth, air, water, cells, plants, animals, eyes, and brains had to happen first. Had they not, words wouldn’t have found our ancestor eager to speak the first word on Earth and we wouldn’t be here asking “What’s the purpose of words?”
On closer look, it is like asking “What is the purpose of our ancestor?” or “What is the purpose of the past?” — questions best not asked in the presence of people who read only one book.
The better question is “What is the purpose of you?”
For the purpose of you, no-one else is involved. In fact, no-one else can answer the question for you. It is all up to you.
Then pick and use your words accordingly.
The purpose of you is the fixed star that shall guide you through thick and thin, come rain or come shine, to the end of the universe and back, the benefits of which can be known only after the fact.
“Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.” – Heraclitus. In a similar vein, I think, people who wish to know about the word must learn about it. There exists no other method I know of.
PS. ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA
According to Wikipedia, 1.7 billion unique visitors per month, the most-read reference work since the beginning of reference works, “There still remains no consensus about the proper definition of word.”
I’m not saying the stupidity on display on that Wikipedia-word-page is what motivated Albert Einstein to declare “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” All I’m saying is the Surgeon General ought to issue a warning.