Thursday, December 5, 2013

Words, simply words...

I have a love for words. I love the way they sound. I am enamored at how there are 26 little pieces that you string together in a variety of ways and create words. It is magical how letters create phonemes and phonemes create words. I am naturally attracted to them. I have been since I was a toddler. It’s astounding the way words are constructed into sentences, paragraphs, essays, books and novels. A single written sentence can break a woman’s heart, make a child rejoice and bring tears to a man. One strand of words can create a sunset when you have never experienced one. One set of words can inform you of anything you wish to learn. 

I love to write. The sound of the keyboard and the way fingers move across each key is calming. The sound a pencil makes as it strokes across a stack of lined paper has the same effect on me that a roaring fireplace does for others. The feeling of a pencil in my hand and the movements of creating letters is exciting and perfect within my body. Watching words be formed on a page is simply fantastic.

I love how each word has a definition and is assigned a part of speech. Nouns have a physical description that can be described with more words or with pictures in our heads. The word “bucket” may create a picture of a black kitchen bucket, a stainless steel trough, a small red sand bucket, or a number of other pictures. For me, the first visual that comes to my mind when the word “bucket” is said, is of my yellow Labrador Retriever that I had many years. Yes, I named her Bucket. I’ve been asked countless times why I have named my dogs such, as they call them, “weird” names. It is for this very love of words that I name my dogs after inanimate objects. It is incredible to me that a word can create a picture in our minds. It is even more incredible to me, the transition that takes place when you give a word a new meaning. Parents name their children after what they want for their kids, a feeling or after a month; Hope, Faith, or August. We don’t question them. When I named my dog Carwash, I was regularly questioned as to why I would do such a thing. The word ‘carwash’ has a definition, the name Carwash, is just a word. I like the way it looks when it is written. I like the way it sounds when you say it fast or when you say it with love and drag out the sounds. I simply like the word.

When I named Bucket, I had a hard time changing the picture in my head. For the first several months that I had her, every time I said her name I saw a picture of a silver bucket appear in my mind’s eye. As the months passed, the visual that I saw slowly changed and my visual definition of the word bucket took a new shape. When people would say the word “bucket” in conversation, I would no longer see that silver bucket, but rather, I would see my 6 month old yellow Labrador in all her lanky and puppy-like ways. The word made a complete transformation in my mind. I recall one night when it was raining and a friend made the comment, “It’s raining buckets outside.” The image that appeared in my head was of a million yellow labs falling from the sky. It took me a second to recreate my visual definition of the word so that I could understand the commonly used idiom that I had heard and understood so many times before. 

Words are strings of letters. Some person along the way decided to put some of those letters together and made a word. They attached a meaning and then repeated the word to other people. The definition allowed them to have a mutual understanding. Giving names allows us to again use words. We are introduced to that animal or human with the name and we have a common understanding of what to call them. It’s phenomenal how words have meaning and even multiple meanings. A simple letter change can change a word, and at times there is no need to change a letter. It’s incredible. I am happiest when I am writing words, when they are thought of in my head and find a way out of my body and onto paper. I have a love for words.

No comments:

Post a Comment