For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories about the death of kings.–Richard II, Shakespeare
Richard was lamenting the loss of his title and crown, but my lament is about the king of all—words.
As a nation of many tongues, it can be hard to officially pinpoint our language. But if we base it on the amount of channels provided by cable, including the international and Latino packs, we mostly speak English. As a person who speaks more than one language, I can tell you that my favorite language, hands-down, is English. It’s rich without being too flowery. It’s succinct, but has the capacity to be diplomatic, romantic and aggressive all at the same time. Other languages have the same ability I’m sure, but I tend to geek out over words in English (although I’m not above geeking out over words in other languages, too).
That’s why, I’m increasingly confounded by our use of it. We’re lazy in our speech and resort to hyperbole inordinately. Everything is awesome or extreme. No longer do we make mistakes—we have epic fails. Considering that the latter expression can be used for something as innocuous as buying the wrong toothpaste, is it any wonder we have lost
Courtesy of Darren Lewis from publicdomainpictures.net
weather. I’ve loved a chair just because I was tired and needed to sit. I have even, on occasion, used the word awesome to describe something as trivial as a spoon. Our language banks are full of unused words that we learned once for the SATs and then discarded for something more banal. Words are king and should be afforded just as much pomp and circumstance. In a world that gets its fill of news in less than 140 characters, shouldn’t those characters pack as much punch as possible?
This blog seeks, in its own small way, to revive the wonder of words, the virtue of vocabulary and the lyricism of linguistics. I hope, dear reader, you’ll find curiosities to enjoy and share some of your own.