“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
I’m really lucky to be able to work with people from different parts of the world. I’m always curious about their use of language. I ask them about common phrases and colloquialisms.
The english language has been spread around the world. The reasons are many but mainly collonialism & american entertainment being the measure of quality. I find that people who speak english but have another first language don’t often use it to their full advantage.
When I work with songwriters who have english as a second language I urge them to use some of their own language when writing lyrics. Also to try and put in something from their own culture into the music. Well, as long as it serves the song! More often than not the things they come up with do. It really injects the material with some personality!
These quirks and remarkable uses of language serve to enrich the english language. It’s constantly evolving and absorbing influences.
If you’re lucky enough to have this language in your arsenal I invite you to use it, learn more of it and PLAY with it!
The most playful person in the english language might very well be Shakespeare. He invented more than 1500 words which people use every day.
How did he do it? He played with words. Changing verbs into adjectives, nouns into verbs, putting words together, adding prefixes, adding suffixes or just making up completely new ones!
We can only look at it his contribution with amazement (a word he coined)!
Can creative efforts and art benefit from this as well? Yes! How? By enriching our palette with new words we can find new ways of looking at the world. We can gain insights we may have overlooked or taken for granted before.
Once we’ve mastered a language and its subtleties we can turn it on its head and still make sense of it. C4n y0u r34d 7h15? 1t m1gh7 74k3 50m3 71m3 70 4djus7 bu7 500n3r 0r 1473r y0u’11 574r7 5331ng 4 p4773rn 3m3rg1ng!
OK, waht aoubt tihs? Deos it mkae snsee? Geart! Teh bairn hsa na azamnig caipacty ot dcedoe waht lokos lkie a jmulebd pu mses!
It’s an amazing tool. We just need to understand how the brain can work both for and against us. Then we can learn how to use it to our advantage!
The same goes for the language of art, music, movies, videogames, cooking etc. They all have their own vocabulary to make us feel a certain way or experience a scent, taste or touch.
I’ll leave you with some thoughts from Mr. Bill himself!
“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.”
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
“Listen to many, speak to a few.”
“To thine own self be true.”
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
“The golden age is before us, not behind us.”
“Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.”
“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”
“There’s place and means for every man alive.”
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”