That which is sound





Of all the predicaments so entwined in a civilization, there is none so close to the heart as language.  Language IS civilization.  There is a deep connection in this frolic of phrase that bears more value than what one may just hear. It goes beyond listening.  Civilization in turn needed an extension of its soul…this was the birth of language.  A way to somehow capture a glimpse of that which can never be tangible.  When you threaten the existence of language, you then threaten the existence of the civilization itself.


All too often today, this threat is so absolute to even perceive of the danger this bears for all of humanity.  Being so caught up in ourselves we forget this delicate balance of language and meaning which enmeshes our daily lives.  We forget the utter importance of the profound message behind the language.  The power, the inhabitance and the being.  It is not that one is more important than the other; one more captivating than the next.  It is the very essence of originality.  The ability of a language to be uncommon, that is where the real beauty lies.  None can deny that if you take something of deep value from a culture, that there will be catastrophic consequences.  When you take this very personal extension and make it essentially nil,  you are killing the soul.  When you eradicate a language, it kills the soul of all humanity.  It slaughters an authentic and meaningful connection between one world and another.  No matter the language, it serves a special and absolute place in the world.  Whether spoken in prevalence or spoken in the face of absence… one cannot forget they are all of great importance and purpose.

The devastation of that which can never be retrieved again, that is a detriment to ALL humanity.  There is a special message contained within every distinct tongue.  It is the extension of soil, of blood.  The power is very real and frighteningly tangible.  It is by no common fate that as society continues its descent, so the language follows.  Or perchance, it is the other way.  When the death of language happens, therein wisdom is lost.  Some things may transform this divide of wisdom, but some of the meaning will be lost forever.


“When a language creates — as it does — a community within the present, it does so only by courtesy of a community between the present and the past.”                                                                                                                                                                     -C. Ricks


Language relies on past not just in the sense of what was said before, but more importantly what was once thought.  He who cannot oblige his past, can neither oblige his future.  Therefore the deeper the connection with what once was, the closer the meaning we can derive.  This brings a very direct affect on language.  Language was a bridge for our ancestors to communicate that which was quickly becoming lost.  Today, we couldn’t be farther from this reality.  It no longer is a bridge but an accessory to a nihilistic existence.  It no longer sustains the soul but kills it.   Not even a second thought is given to all the language that is dying at this present moment.  What a sad state of interest this is!   How can this be even a reality?  Please take a momentary glimpse into the past…Remember that which was lost.  Its as simple as finding the truth in language…


I wish life was not so short, he thought. languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.

J. R. R. Tolkien


Take a moment to revisit a couple of our words(of the English language) that was lost*:



As a noun, it meant “mind, heart and spirit” but with a sense of perception, of knowing through the heart.  It could serve as word for the concept we fumble at with words like “emotional intelligence” or trivialize with phrases like “women’s intuition”.


Used to mean “star,” and is evidently at the root of modern words like “twinkle,” but may be a homely alternative to the icy “star”.


It meant “old” and “wise” at the same time.  In a similar vein would be DOUTH, as a sort of counterweight to “youth” derived from the old verb dungan, meaning “be good for, be strong”.  A more vigorous and honorable word than “middle age” to describe the accumulation of life experience and maturity.



*Take note that this is not exemplary of the original spelling, but rather a facilitation for pronunciation purposes.  A special thank you to  the author Douglas Harper for the above facts and witty translations.


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Author: mmartel

"If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive. Being at a loss to resolve these questions, I am resolved to leave them without any resolution." I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing."

3 thoughts on “That which is sound”

  1. Very intriguing. The corresponding death of the Latin language and the decline in classical literature should stand as an exemplary example of what happens when a people’s language is replaced. Just reading a play from Shakespeare is indicative of how much we have lost since then. The slang and vernacular that is used today is a sordid affirmation to how much we have descended. May we reclaim it one day.

  2. Yes absolutely. But this problem is on a larger and deeper scale than one can imagine. From a young age I was intrigued by language. Particularly those of least usage(dying or dead). Just the simple way a culture uses a language to convey an idea or belief is intriguing of itself. I absolutely love Shakespeare. You just must be in a different mindset(another plane) to even catch a glimpse of what he says. To even imagine that in one language they can have for example 100 different meanings for snow. Or that one word can capture 5 different modes of feeling. That is incredible to me. Why would anyone want to lose that, anyone with even half a brain?

  3. Both language and civilization are uniquely human activities. While the things that man and beast share in common are often overlooked, the differences can be just as enlightening. It is just a matter of knowing where to look.

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