Sensual Language

It was a daft and turbulent night. The underwriters overcame their sense of vertigo and started to finish the journey that they had undertaken. No one could have foreseen the aftermath of their shortsightedness. The perception of the groundlings was that the senseless waste of time was harmless.

Words evoke more than simple understanding of their meaning. They stir our emotions, excite our senses, and call us to action. They have connotations that recall memories long dormant. The artist that can wield them can paint pictures as provocative as anyone working in oils, acrylic, or watercolors.

The average adult has a vocabulary of between twenty thousand and thirty five thousand words and yet they only use around five thousand words when they speak and ten thousand when they write. It is as if they choose to paint their verbal pictures with an extremely limited palate.

What does the first paragraph of this post make you feel? Does it conjure any pictures? Does it bring any memories to mind? Or is it merely nonsense? Does it tell a story? Or is the story all in your mind, due to your attempt to make sense of it?

Our use and perception of language is at the heart of our culture. When I read Shakespeare I wonder if the common man spoke with nearly the eloquence that the bard imparted to them in the dialog of his plays. Or, is it more likely that they were as much in awe of his language as we are.

Writing often feels like juggling words. You strive to make them express the concepts that you are trying to convey but you want to put your best foot forward and be both concise and eloquent. Some people will tell you to use a thesaurus to expand the vocabulary that you use in a piece. That is only necessary if you are having trouble remembering the exact word for which you are struggling.

If your words are bland and tasteless, you will likely put your audience to sleep. No writer wants to do that. They want to engage their readers and inspire them to think about things in a different way. Colorful language helps people to stay awake and absorb the message behind the words.

And so, I come to the end of the story for tonight. I wish I had some profundity to leave you with but it seems that I am all out of anything profound to say. I am somehow convinced that if I write a blog post every day, that someday, someone will stumble across my writing and be inspired to do something differently.

Good night and sleep well. Tell yourself stories while you sleep. The best stories occur to us when we are on the border between wakefulness and sleep. Keep a notebook and pen by your bed and use them like a literary butterfly net to capture your dreams.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.