Love to the linguistically challenged

First of all, I would like to apologise to my readers and, indeed, to my little corner of the Internet, for being away so long. The tides of life were rough, and I had found myself once again clamouring to hold on to the edges of the boat we call sanity as I ventured into the choppy waters of the unknown. Realising, however, that there was nothing to be gained at the end of a long, sane life, however, I decided to leap from my safeguard turned slave ship, and dove further into the waters of questioning depth than I had thought possible, with no reason to resurface for the air which now seemed poisoned.

But rest assured, I am back for good. There can, of course, be no guarantee as to that statement, but I implore you to put a little faith in the same person you have invested your time in, for armed with the support of strangers I know nothing about, what can’t I do? I do not claim to have gotten rid of the malady which rendered me incapacitated for the rather large period of time in which I was away, but I can promise to you, as my faithful supporters, to try my best to overcome it for the brief period of time that it requires me to post something.

Today, I am here to speak to you about a conversation which I had not a day ago, and which, indeed, I was forced to leave midway, for the other party to the conversation decided that there was work to be done; and, as people who have engaged in the noble art of conversing with tell you, it takes two. It was a most interesting conversation, with a most interesting individual, not least because I am deeply interested in the individual of whom I speak. It was a conversation about a topic which is very personal to me, and a topic on which I welcome debate wholeheartedly. I talk, of course, about language.

It was the opinion of my dear friend that language was not the worthwhile creation that I made it out to be. My friend maintained that language was imperfect, and that it was rendered worthless by the blatant attempts of men and women throughout the centuries trying to attest to its perfection. The conversation naturally drew into the confines of art, which my companion seemed to think the better form of expression, because, as was so eloquently put to me, “at least people don’t pretend it to be perfect communication. It’s known to be imperfect, and for once that is right.”

But forever the champion of language, and an aspiring word-smith at heart, this bashing of language was not something I was able to tolerate. Indeed, tempers often run high in opinionated debates such as these, but I was determined to deem language victorious in this battle, or die trying. And so I argued my case, and what should be my first argument, other than the perfect imperfections of language?

Language is imperfect, that is true. Every form of communication is imperfect. The attempt to join ideas of the mind, so infinite in their proportions, by the limitations of man-made communication is a foolish errand, yet one we must undertake. The power of words does not lie in their flawless existence, but in their effectiveness despite their flaws. And most of all, the success of language lies in poetry, which communicates not thoughts and ideas, but feelings; a singularly astonishing feat.

How, then, in the face of millennia of evidence, can one deny the effectiveness of language? How can one claim it to be any less than art, or music, or any other form of communication. The flaws, the imperfections of language, they are what make it flawless and perfect. It is true that those who pretend that language is perfect are deluded and in the dark, but all those who know where the fallacies of language lie, they are masters of this elusive creation of mankind.

Language is not just a means of communication to one another. Its only purpose is not the relaying of ideas of one mind for the complete comprehension of another. Were that the case, language would not need to evolve; merely the creation of a few means of delivery of messages would suffice. No, language is meant to express, to show what is felt as well as thought. Were language a perfect creation, how would there be any room of difference of opinion, for personal interpretation, and, indeed, for growth as we know it?

It is best that language exists for us in its broken and imperfect form. It allows us to grow as a species, as a civilisation, and allows for the preservation of centuries of ideas, which we may never have the original gist of, but which we can appreciate all the same.

And to those who pretend that language is perfect, know this: you only seek to damage the beauty of language by doing so. Perfection is an illusion and, far worse than this, it is a sinful delusion, the likes of which have razed many great entities to the ground. It is my request, as a firm devotee of the flaws of language, to let this singular entity be free of the shackles of perfection.