Words

I have been thinking a lot about words and their meanings. Words are important; we all want our words to be heard, read, and interpreted as they were intended. Linguistically words are the smallest unit of speech that holds meaning. It seems simple. But it’s not. For a word to be assigned that meaning, it has to be first introduced to a person when they are acquiring language AND that particular word. Everyone’s assignment of meaning to every word can have multiple meanings because of this. Sure, words have general meanings that people know; but since the introduction to EACH word is a creation or relationship of meaning to individuals, words only mean (or can be interpreted) what that individual acquired them to be and built upon their meaning over the years. To make things even worse, a combination of words just increases the chance of an unintended meaning.

Take the word frog for example. I am terrified of frogs. So even the most eloquent tribute to frogs is not going to reach me or be interpreted as intended. In fact, it will automatically make me apprehensive to even read the rest of the words- let alone allow them to make meaning for me. Now, if you take words like crap, uniqueness, everyman, relationships, thought, dating, playing, idiot, hope, and wimp (which are my most popular tags in order) and combine them, it really is an interpretative mess. Crap and uniqueness are tied for first and I think both are a significant representation (or interpretation) of me because the crap that I have – both good and bad – is what created my uniqueness. The meaning that I assigned to the word crap is not even remotely about crap; it’s about the obstacles that I’ve overcome- or are attempting to, in my never ending self actualization process. Crap is a good thing for me, a symbolic badge of courage and strength. My assignment of meaning to the word uniqueness is about the singularity and genuineness of me; there is not another person on the entire planet who even comes close to the persona I have created or the person I am. And yes, they really are two different me’s. One is just waiting to be discovered, or uncovered, or unblocked- that’s where the everyman comes in (or doesn’t) with all the rest of the tags…but this isn’t about him.

I also thought about assigning new tags to this post, specifically moving on and waking up to inspire hope. But after careful thought into the actual words in the phrases and their meaning as they apply to me, I decided to not include them. To say that I’m moving on instills an image of motion- from something that I’m moving away from, to something else. I have nothing else right now, so I’m not moving on, I’m staying put. And the waking up phrase is a bit more intricate because of the symbolic meaning I have assigned to it combined with the individual word meanings. I don’t need to wake up, in that I am not sleeping. In fact, I rarely sleep, let alone long enough for dreams to distract me. Symbolically, waking up deals with enlightenment about a situation or idea that previously was confusing. I am not now, nor have ever really been confused about what’s going on. Sure I may occasionally placate my own hopes with excuses, but not to the extent that I don’t really know what’s going on. I like to believe that I’m an optimistic realist who believes that everyone has good in them and that words are intended to be communication that holds meaning. Sometimes words go unread and unheard or interpretation is lost in translation. But even worse are words that go unspoken, without having taken the chance to mean something and connect to another.

 

 

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