Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 August 2008

Words

How grossly, how devastatingly inadequate is language to express what we sometimes wish to say. How wondrous, too, it must be said, that our language (this one in particular) can say so much, that it possesses such nuance, that it is so supple, so skilled at parsing even slight differences.

We even debate semantics. I prefer "client" over "resident" or "teaching assistant" over "classroom facilitator" over "discussion leader."

But so often I find that there is simply nothing to say. There is nothing clever enough, sincere enough; sometimes there are no words. Surely it isn't because I don't know the words; I know so many. I am inclined, rather, to think that it is—instead—that we have failed to invent words for so much of what we feel.

Worse yet, so much of the vocabulary we use to describe how we feel about people has, through overuse (disuse?), become clichéd and trite.

There is only one way out: we must invent more words.

Or perhaps we could paint. Or sing. Or dance.