“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” ― W.H. Auden
A lighter post today.
I love language, words, writing. I love reading great writing. Language is the royal road to uncovering reality, and language is our only way to union with the Creator of the creation, as it is only through His eternal Word-made-speech that He reveals Himself. And that Word elevated human speech, already a beautiful icon of God, to an even more beautiful sacrament of God’s self-revealing love. That is the highest vocation of theology, to baptize our language in the eternal Speech of God.
My grandfather said to me once that those who can only express intensity with vulgarities reveal an impoverished vocabulary, and a soul that is unaware of its nobility and dignity.
A theology professor I had in college, who encouraged me to take more English, Ancient Languages and Literature courses before studying theology in graduate school, said to me: “Master your own language before you attempt to learn divine speech.” Still trying.
My wife is an English proficient, a grammatical genius and a spelling sage. She has, over the 28 years we have known each other, gradually purified me from my syntaxical, grammatical and lexical misdeeds. For example, I no longer say “irregardless” when “regardless” requires no prefix, “I could care less” when I couldn’t, “I’m just talking out loud” when I’m actually thinking out loud, pronounce realtor “real-a-tor”, nor do I say any longer “I’m getting unchanged” when just “getting changed” suffices. And there’s oh so many more.
Then there’s making my goal of writing daily blog posts I rarely have time to edit. There alone is more than enough fodder for humility.
So just for fun, I thought I’d post today two funny music videos about language. I’ve posted them once before. The first identifies common “word crimes,” while the second celebrates of palindromes. Enjoy if you care to: