AdSense Page Ads

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Words, Magical Words!

This morning I have the pleasure of teaching a 4 year old a few words in Bahasa Indonesia. I love how the words rolled from her mouth, with just the right accent. And it was magical to hear an item being called with different name. As Shakespeare have put it, Rose called by any other name would smell as sweet.

Words are always my passion. It explains my fascination to books and stories, since they consist of words. And word, I believe, is the most powerful thing for Human.

A Japanese manga told a story of how words bind us, what we do depends on what we say. Is it not possible in real life? Folklores from around the world tell stories about one true name. One word attached to a thing that represent its true nature. As absurd (or as witchy) as it seems, indeed we use the power of word everyday. We name our children with words or names that represent our hopes that they will bear the charasteristic attached to the words/name. Who would name a child Lucifer or Slacky, for instance. What is that but acknowlodging the power of words? And it also goes to the motivational poster in your company's wall, or sweet words you called your lover with. Words dictate us, manipulate us. That is why we go with cigarettes called Oasis, or hotel called Caesars Palace.

Yet for all its strength and glory, word is also our downfall. A word in one language can mean a different thing in another language, like Air in English would mean water in Indonesia. We also attached our own perspective to the words, making a word have different meaning to different speakers, albeit in the same language. Example, how do you feel with the word F*ck? A person that never use the word will probably coil from another speaker that use it abundantly. But what if we stay long enough to observe the F speaker? There is a chance that the speaker's F word is used (and mean) differently than how we use (and mean) it. Mention the word Spring, a person may have a dreamy look in his/her eyes, but other may look terrorize (spring/pollen allergies probably). No wonder fights and bickering arouse easily among human. Words are as tricky as it is powerful.

I put a piece of paper with a word in front of the bouganville, take a picture and send it to the girl. I can imagine her little face concentrating as she try to spell and pronouncing the word repeatedly in murmurs; and then, with all certainty and face all aglow she will say: Bunga! (English: Flower). Words are magical indeed!


Search This Blog