In my household, my true love is the bastion of language. He is very particular about it, and its incorrect use and the incorrect manner in which it is used, drives him wild. He likes order and structure, whereas I’m a little more free and easy with my use of language.
My true love is quite economical with his words. This is also true of my children. Why take 100 words to say something when you can say it in 10. On the other hand, it takes me quite some time to get to the point, assuming I even know what the point is. I am one of those people that think aloud, and I often stop speaking mid-thought without noticing, except of course the rest of my family is waiting for me to finish what I am saying. Very frustrating for them.
My true love sets out to write with a structure, and outline already in mind. This is quite a foreign concept to me. I paint with words – a dib here, a dab there, before it all comes together in a cohesive (and sometimes not so cohesive) whole. He is succinct. I am long-winded. Both writing processes take time.
However, there are some things we both agree on. Words are meant to convey meaning and the truth. In a court of law, words are important. We are required under law to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In life, language is important. Even in politics, language as truth is important. Members of parliament must not mislead the parliament (or the people). My true love and I both detest it when politicians say many words that have no meaning at all. I appreciate that it is difficult to convey complex ideas succinctly. Nevertheless, words must convey meaning, otherwise why bother?
I’m more flexible about the evolution of language than my true love. I like the use of emoji’s (emoticons). Emoticons are as succinct as I’m ever going to get. However, hell will probably freeze over before my true love uses an emoji. I have tremendous admiration for one senior politician in my country who wrote a whole tweet with emoticons. I think she’ll go far, provided the men in her party don’t undermine her.
To me, language is also music. If there should ever be a time in my future when I lose my ability to construct language, I am hopeful I will still be able to communicate with song. I have a vast repertoire of 70’s and 80’s pop songs stuck in my head.