Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset - tears are words waiting to be written." ― Paulo Coelho

I'm a writer. I love words and language. I love the nuances of words. I love the concept of constructing sentences to convey a message, an idea, a thought, a tone, an emotion. Words have the ability to mesmerize us. How did language begin and develop over time? How did words eventually evolve into human expression and not just a form of communication. How did humans acquire language at the beginning with no reference?

Languages have evolved and diversified over time. Just compare medieval English to modern English. We have words like 'bae' and 'fleek', which are not technically real words, since they have the red squiggly line underneath to signify they're not real! Language is really just a form of human expression and experience. With the ability to understand language, we experience life in a social context. Since childhood, we learn to develop our cognitive and language skills in preparation of life. Without language, it would be a vastly different experience. We'd be like the cavemen.

When you think about it, what would it be like if you couldn't speak (watch Samantha Morton's performance in Sweet and Lowdown) or read (spoilers alert: watch Kate Winslet in The Reader)? What if you're blind, you would have to learn to experience words through braille. And if you're deaf, you'd experience communication through sign language. Regardless, part of the human experience is to learn to communicate and through communication, language was developed. Etymology is so fascinating.

At one point, I thought about studying linguistics. I had a knack for languages, especially foreign languages. I really enjoyed my liberal arts classes in college. I studied Western Civilization and learned that Cuneiform was the first known form of written language. Cuneiform dates back to 31st century B.C.E to 1st century C.E. It is read from left to right. But then why is Chinese read right to left across the page and up to down? How did people make these decisions?

Then I think about how animals communicate to each other? Can different species of animals understand each other or do they have to be the same species? Do different breeds have different dialects or accents? There are studies of animal communication and just to satisfy my curiosity, I'd have to look into this subject. Apparently, there is a lot of sniffing and smelling involved.

Final thought: How did words eventually become imagery and get translated onto the screen? Through the magic of filmmaking, that's how. I hope you enjoyed my midnight ramblings. I know I enjoyed sharing my random train of thoughts with you.