If you think about it, with every word we utter, we impact ourselves and one another. With our words, we express love, anger, hate, joy, success and failure. We create in language. We think in language. We innovate and iterate in language. Language is almost everything for you and I and every human being on the planet.
The creation of language, the speaking of language is one of the most critical skillsets we develop. Just think about children, it is a huge milestone when they speak words that we understand. When they string them together to create whole sentences, meaning opens up to them. As the receiver of their speaking, we can relax as we now can answer their needs and desires and begin to explain the world to them, teach them.
Then they grow up and they, like you and I, become contributing members of the society in which we live. The question is do we keep DEVELOPING our speaking ability, our communication ability?
In an article in Forbes by Greg Satell, he says
“We often treat communication as if it were a discrete act, a matter of performance or lack thereof. We tend to treat knowledge and communication as two separate spheres. We act as expertise was a private matter, attained through quiet study of the lexicon in a particular field. Communication, on the other hand, is often relegated to the realm of the social, a tool we use to interact with others of our species.
Yet, as Wittgenstein argued decades ago, that position is logically untenable because it assumes that we are able to communicate to ourselves in a private language. In truth, we can’t really know anything that we can’t communicate. To assert that we can possess knowledge, but are unable to designate what it is, is nonsensical.
We rarely put serious effort toward expressing ourselves in a language that can be understood by those outside our tribe. Then we wonder why our efforts and achievements fail to resonate.
It has become fashionable to say that our present epoch is an information age, but that’s not quite right. In truth, we live in a communication age and it’s time we start taking it seriously.”
I have always loved language. When I was a young child, I consumed books. I loved to write creatively. I loved to speak (that got me into a bit of trouble in school, as you can imagine!). I love the creation, the discovery, the innovation that happens with language. That is why I have spent most of my life deepening and developing my ability to use the one gift of a human being – language and communicating it.
Here is the question to mull over….what would be possible for you, in your life if you further developed your speaking? Really speculate.
So, what is in a word? Everything.