March 26, 2007
If the pen is mightier than the sword, and spoken language is more powerful than the written word, it follows that the greatest responsibility of those who respect and care for language is to talk a lot. It can be beneficial to research and report on words, to study where words originated, what words have meant and mean today, and how they are used in various forms of communication. However, books filled with words about words will not replace the impact of language when spoken and heard. Just as poetry or song lyrics must be said aloud to reveal their depth and fullness, in order to truly know the voice, sound and feeling of language it must be shared vocally. In order for a language to be kept alive it must be spoken, not merely captured and preserved on pages. Language gains strength and increased vitality from continuous use, it expands and obtains variety the more it is used. For language to be kept healthy it must be cultivated, nurtured to improve by the search for new words, or better words. Words have the potential to harm, even to destroy, when used ignorantly or maliciously.