Friday, June 17, 2005

Words, because I wish to bore you

Writing about words.....I'm a dork. Don't expect a conclusion here because I don't expect to come to one....we'll goes.


Words are slippery little things. Every one of them potentially carries numerous meanings, and when strung together into sentences, the number of possible meanings is multiplied exponentially. Add various inflections such as tone, volume, context, subtext, and so on, and you realize the extraordinary power of words to communicate both that which they say, and that which they do not.

And yet, words don't always quite do it, do they?

Words don't always convey exactly what it is that we intend to get across. Not completely anyway. Sometimes hardly at all.

You may interpret this as a confession of my limitations as a writer, but I don't think that's all there is to it. Ahem. Ideas that are hard to express, feelings that are impossible to accurately describe to your friends, that moment in the middle of a sentence where you stop and just mumble "um, uh, um" and wring your hands in search of the perfect expression that just won't come to you while your friends wait patiently and some of them pretend to understand but they really don't and you know they don't and they know you know but the conversation has moved on...that's what I'm talking about.

Maybe it's a limitation of the English language, but I get the feeling that similar limitations exist in other tongues. For example, ancient Buddhist texts that most certainly were not originally written in English speak at length about states of being that are beyond words, that can only be fully understood by way of experience.

But the things you can't put into words...they still exist. Just because you can't form a sentence out of it doesn't mean that it just goes *poof* into nonexistence. You DID feel that feeling. You did see that amazing sight. You still have that wild theory, even if you can't quite find the words to make anyone else on the planet understand it, or maybe you do get one person to understand it, but it's only because in the middle of your attempt at an explanation, their eyes light up and they point at you and shout "YES!" and then you have a conversation that goes something like,
"You know?"
"Yeah, it's like when you..."
"I know!"
"Oh my God."
See...understanding achieved with only minimal use of words.

In conclusion, well, I have no conclusion. Other than perhaps an acceptance of the things I have stated here, even though I don't. Accept them, that is. Not completely. It's a contradiction, I know. I state the things above as theory of some sort, and yet when I as a writer set down to express an idea, either through a direct format such as this or through prose or through a script, I will bloody my forehead by banging it against the wall looking for the words to express what I have to say. The words are just there, I know they are. I will find the right dialogue for these characters to say in this scene to get my idea across because it needs to be understood by everyone. Dammit.

And sometimes I do. Sometimes not. Sometimes maybe.

Well enough of this. It's Friday. I'm going home.

No comments: