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Monday, April 16, 2007

Words

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."


--- from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland [1865] by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

23 comments:

candid diary said...

Man invented words to express and suppress his thoughts.

saikat said...

words are the man's greatest strength and his greatest weakness...

choosing and expressing the right words at the right moments is just not a skill but a character.

but sometimes i do feel..the best communication happens in silence...as i say..silence is the best speaker...and the biggest challenge is to understand what it wants to communicate...

Aparna Kar said...

aggs tgui buhygtfkj :D

saikat said...

Insanity Forever ;)

arun said...

imagine a love between two dumb and deaf people...i have met few like tht who are married and leading a happy life...i jus learned from them words and meanings are jus a...wht should i say bull shit?

Aparna Kar said...

@ arun
That reminds me.. some of the most beautiful things ever said to me were never uttered... :)

But there were also many things I wish I could have said. But the time is past now, and the occasion lost. So there's one thing I have decided in my life- to speak my mind when I feel like .
Though I don't really believe in being brutally honest. It deserves no credit.

I read somewhere- speak only if you can improve the silence
So speak only if you can see the beauty in others. If what you see is ugly-keep silent, don't make that moment of ugliness last a lifetime.

Criticize only whom you hold dear and learn to accept people with their limitations. No one is perfect. Not even me.

There's one thing I need to mention- words are not always ornamentation for banal feelings.
They can begin a journey and help you continue with it.

And yeah- about the appropriateness of using words and their ability to convey the true feeling- I can't complain even if they fail to do so. Sometimes, the miscomprehended words have the most wonderful outcomes :D

arun said...

After reading ur comment it reminded me of my fav scene from "My best friends wedding"...This is jus one few instance where u hav to speak out...when in relation speak out...speak out clearly...whether u wanna make or break it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=347uWvP7clI

Jus watch the 30 seconds from 1:47 to 2:07...very expressive...

After all we have rgts to express wht we feel...though at times it may hurt someone or the self...as days goes on we get matured...may be i would say sometime expressing ur angry, sorrow, joy all thru the eyes in silence is the height of maturity!...i can keep going on this..may be if interested lets go off the record on chat!

sangram said...

Setting Robin Allot in mind, and the origin of language makes me to think that words are a concrete expression to any event. It has a sound structure associated with each and every part of our perception. We invent words to associate them to a particular expression, and thus each association has a preset meaning and logic, the reason why we say "the power of words" , but not "the power of language". Language in its many forms encapsulates different words, which are supposed to have the same origin and structure. At times, we strangely associate words with philosophy and science. Why is that science has been successful, while philosophy has not. The power of words expressing the very cause of science (the quest for reality) has been successful, while the uncertainty about the objectives of philosophy always remained and thus there has been no concrete and unified expression of words that solves the very cause of it. Its ultimately a complex cobweb of human association with nature and its cause. :)

candid diary said...

Arun’s comment reminded me of an old movie (Koshish) I watched recently on the cable. Koshish tells the story of expressions of love between Haricharan (Sanjeev Kumar) and Aarti (Jaya Bhaduri), both deaf and dumb. Though the film’s story was lifted from a Japanese film (probably Akira Kurosawa’s movie) it is superb in handling the subtle manifestation of love without words. After Aarti’s death the movie ends with the second son of the couple dating a deaf young girl and the Koshish to bridge the gap between the normal and the deaf and dumb people goes on.

saikat said...

@ sangram: Bhaiyaaji eeh aap englishwa main kaa fusur fusur karat ha...humka to kuch samanjhwa main nahii aavat...tanik bihari main samjhiye na..kahe ki humhaar bhaisan logan ka bhi in sab main kaafi interestwa hain..par uuuh logan chara khai khai ke khai khai ke...ab sirf bihari hi samajh paat...

to tanik dim :P dimake bihari main boliye nah :P

Aparna Kar said...

Talking of words, how can we miss the most versatile word of English language. Hear what Osho had to say about the word “fuck“.

sangram said...

@ saikat :D.. bihari samajh mein aata hein..thodi bahut bol bhi leta hu...lekin likhne ke time..bahut problem hota hein :D... dim jee ka bihari tabiyat bole to ekdam ZERO hein..weise doodhwa peeke try kar sakte hein .. aaur ye aapke bhaaisa log kaun kaun hein...jara batiye to :)

Aparna Kar said...

@sangram

You are right . Words are the natural evolutionary product of the functioning of the brain. The forms of individual words are not arbitrary but directly derived from and related to the meaning of the words. That is why words for butterfly in different languages derive from the characteristic flight pattern.
Linguists and anthropologists recognize the importance of language to a culture or people. Two early linguists, Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Whorf, theorized that language determines culture. According to their theory ( the "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis), members of different cultures see the world differently because they draw upon different linguistic categories to interpret it.

Depending on it, we may conclude that the more advanced a language is of a race, the more evolved it is. And if we pixelate the whole picture we might even safely say- that the more evolved is the language of an individual, the more advanced he/she is. But we can’t forget that in communication, generally-

– 7% is conveyed by the words
– 38% by the voice tones
– 55% by facial and body expression

So it makes me wonder how would the superman or Ubermensch (borrowing Nietzsche's idea of "the overman" or Homo superior ) communicate?
Would it be a complex combination of evolved facial expressions? Or more modulated voice tones? Or mere telepathy? Any suggestions?

saikat said...

@ appu: aapki engliswa main isspecial bhasan sunke humhaar tabele main bawaal hui gawa hain...ab to sab bhaisan logon khali angrezi musikwa sunke hi doodhwa deti hain...hey ram ! :D

@ sangram: Bhaiyajii naam hain anarkali uski bitiya..numtaz :D ..baaki sab humhaar favahrite heroinewa ke naam par hain..sridevi..hema malini..madhuri...aishwarya..aur sabse chhoti mallik-ake cher-jaavat :D

;)

candid diary said...

Our sages had said 'Shabda Brahma' - Word is God. No word, even the four letter ones, can be untouchable. Words, of course, lose their effectiveness through over use.
With reference to Saikat’s comment: anyone interested in learning new words in Bhojpuri (used in Western Bihar and Eastern UP) may visit http://www.anjoria.com/aug06/anjo0407.pdf

Aparna Kar said...

@candid
Arre waah.. ee aapko kaha se mil gaya? Mera matbal hai- google mein keyword kya daala tha? :D
Hum to apke fan ho gaye... aur kuch dui-chaair bhasha sikhne k isshuk hai hum .. theth Punjabi aur Bangla sikhne ka bhi upay kar de janab :)

saikat said...

#$^%@#$*&@@# ---> Wanna learn Martian :P

Aparna Kar said...

@saikat
Are there dudes in Mars ? :P
There should be strong incentive to learn something that difficult. Not like the gibberish we talk :D
Ieok Uu Jmremosx Guqiuiq
Xi Subj !!!

Lack of literal sense = not necessarily nonsense
Btw, tht's a code for u to break.

sangram said...

@ saikat: :D ye kaise ho sakta hein..bhaiswa log angrezi sunke hi doodhwa deti hein..waah jee waahh...angrezu sharab warab bhi piti hogi sab ke sab... kaa taath baat hein...

@ aparna
quoting u
"Depending on it, we may conclude that the more advanced a language is of a race, the more evolved it is"
I would rather not use "language" but instead resort to "power of words" in relating evolution of a species. We are always in the process of attaining ultimate complexity, which is the supreme power or God. Human evolution is a part of the whole process. Its one of those subtle random noise that sets in a moving trend of a much bigger signal. Super-humans can be a part of the whole process, where complexity can be achieved in a much earlier state for any living creature. Its the "characteristic" of the atoms that gives life to any visible object or creature. There are and there will be creatures that can possess a more complex arrangement of atoms, and their intrinsic system, language, and expression can be highly variegated...do i make sense ??
- bear in mind...tht we have constantly evolved in a complex manner..be it the nature, be it any creature, be it the universe...its the cosmological evolution in the broader sense

passer by said...

if it weren't for words how would i even think..

saikat said...

@ Sangram: are bhaiyaajee kuch na poocho,ab hum aapko kya bataai...eeeh sasuri bhainsanwa logon ki to aap baat hi na kijiye...angrezi bottle na dekhe to chara hi nahii khaat...aajkal to uuhaar doodhwa main bhi angrezi daruu ki boo aavat hain...use peeneke baad to sab grahak tull :D

hum to abhi aise hi doodh bechte hain...'eeh doodhwa se tum tunnn hui jaaoge...peeyo aur mast jeeyo ;)'

aapko bhi chahiye ka eeh iispeshal doodhwa ;P

@ appu: dudes in mars..dint u hear the joke abt the martian and his ear :P

talking abt the gibberish...hehe now trying to break your 'da hitchki code' :D

Aparna Kar said...

This might interest some of the readers:abstemious, which means sparing, especially in matters of eating and drinking, has all the vowels once, and only once, and even easier: the vowels are in alphabetical order.

saikat said...

@ appu: Am *Bovoweled* :P