I simasía ton léxeon

I have long been amazed at words. But at a young age, I was teased because I couldn’t explain what something meant. It hurt. Why did they tease me for not knowing something? I was a little kid after all. But then again, so were they. What I failed to understand at the tender age of 6 or 7, was the importance of words.

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”

The old children’s rhyme has always sounded wrong to me. But words has hurt me many times, I think. And it has not gone without some thought throughout the years. I want to look into that. What kind of power does the word have?

Let’s begin by defining some terms. And what better place to start than definitions?

word | noun | Collins Dictionary

1 the smallest single meaningful unit of speech or writing {related adjective: lexical}

2 a brief conversation

3 a brief statement

4 news or information

5 a solemn promise

6 a command or order

 

power | noun | Collins Dictionary

1 ability to do something

2 a spesific ability or faculty

3 political, financial or social force or authority

4 a position of control, esp. over the running of a country

5 a state with political, industrial or military strength

6 a person or group having authority

7 a prerogative or privilege

8 official or legal authority

15 informal a great deal

If you don’t know much about me, I like to have power of understanding, and look at the components of the words we speak. What do they mean, and how can we understand each other and the world around us through them? You’re going to notice that I ask a lot of questions, far more than I intend to answer. I intend to challenge you every step of this journey through the maze of mutterings and meanings. I will willfully woe you with the wonders of words, and captivate you with lofty ideas. But most importantly, I will make you think. Think deeper, think with more complexity and think yourself smarter.

You might now begin to think that I am rather arrogant to think that I can make you think, don’t you think? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. If I can change my mind, learn something new and exciting every day, I am positivly pressured to come to the conclusion that you will learn a lot as well.

Is the word-rhymes too much?

Nah.

 

The ability of information to do something

As the title shows, a simple look at a words definition has revealed something that the original sentence might not have been able to. What ability/faculty/authority does a piece of information/command/promise have? Does it matter what a politican say to how a country is run? Can his or her words be the difference between one outcome over another? Of course. Every one of us communicate and most of us use our words to do so. A parent or a government official have power through authority. A friend or a lover has power through trust. A bully has power through intimidation. Everyone use words, consciously or unconsciously, to affect the people and world around them.

Let’s look at three different imaginary people, the parent, the bully and the best friend.

 

The parent is the first, and for many people the most important, authority in their life. Their words are truth for most of your early childhood, and what they tell you forms and shapes you for the rest of your life, regardless of how your views diverge.

The bully is that kid on the schoolyard that calls you names, and asks questions you can’t answer. His or her power of words comes from the ability to use information to create fear and uncertainty.

The best friend is the one you trust above most others, and their power of words comes from that trust. Her words are believed and acted upon because you think she tells you the truth. She has a social authority and gives you a solemn promise that her information is true.

 

Now this a very basic example, since I have not studied this in depth. Let me also point out that these examples are set to smaller everyday situations. I would personally use time to study the conclusions those around me have come to before adapting it to my own life. In some situations that only takes remembering conflicting or fitting conclusions, while other pieces of information requires a longer analysis.

 

Beyond the veil

I will challenge you to do at least one thing that doesn’t contribute to the endlessness of self-gratification or your own biased opinion. If you are reading up on a news-story, look for opposing views, but also research the points being made by all sides yourself.  If you are debating someone you disagree with online, take ten minutes each time you want to respond to check up on your own claims before you press send. Words have power,so using your noggin’ before you start nagging is probably a good idea, don’t you think?

 

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