Edgar Allan Poe wrote a unique piece called “The Power of Words.” It’s wholly available on-line, and I recommend you read it. I found it compelling, and it reminded me of so much that has been said about “the Word.”
The opening line in the Bible is “In the beginning was the Word,” though I have heard other translations into English. Still, there is great emphasis on “the word.”
My father used to say that a man is only as good as his word, referring to being honest and honorable. Don’t promise to do something if you cannot do it. But if you say you will, do everything in your power to keep your word.
There is also that term “intercourse” which can also refer to two people talking. Isn’t that interesting? The two creative faculties of the human are regarded as the sexual intercourse, as well as the use of the spoken word.
Words have power, and most of us are out of touch with that power.
I have spent some time with the Oxford English Dictionary some years ago, learning that there are specific meanings of words that are completely lost today, and only by exploring the derivations of these words can you find it original meaning. There are also the special and archaic meanings, which can only add depth and clarity to our conversations.
The word is something very special and dare I say “magical.” Because we “create” all the time – either intentionally or (more commonly) ignorantly – we should always refine our word usage.
Another interesting tidbit: As children we learn to draw the letters and to spell. And somewhere in grammar school, the teachers laugh as they tell us that witches can cast spells. So there it is. Spell and casting spells. Are we not “casting spells” and creating by our word use?
There is also the hidden side of language, where the words are telling us something, but the meanings are hidden in plain view. The walls of the liquor stores say “Spirits sold here,” and the problem is, you never know what those spirits will do when they enter your body.
Another intriguing topic is the English Kaballah, which I will address later. I’d love to hear your comments.