Written [r]evolution

“In the beginning was the Word.”  (John 1:1)

And the Word was the will to communicate, and the Word evolved.  Like any other organism which successfully survives in our world today, it morphed, reproduced, underwent speciation, adapted to the climate of its intellectual environment, and somehow did all of this effectively enough to avoid being extinguished.

The Word eventually succumbed, we can only suppose, to that which is proposed by the endosymbiotic theory.  It crawled gently up the nose of one sleeping H. habilis, sighed contentedly, and became Broca’s area.  Since that time, language has only continued to make evolutionary progress on global, personal, and syntactical levels.

The world over, the Word has feasted upon the imaginatively logical capabilities of the human mind to convey its meanings successfully, giving rise to, for example, such innovations as the Chinese writing system.  The meaning of the Chinese character 口is “mouth”.  Much like its real-world inspiration, this mouth is the basis of kissing (吻), eating (吃), and telling someone something (告诉).  Words of differing complexity evolved from what appears to be a simplified sketch; at the center of most Chinese terms lies a similarly innate explanation.  To trace the etymology of a single Chinese character is to therefore follow the  workings of the human mind backwards in time, and to observe the evolution of a language on a majestic scale.

Yet another kind of evolution takes place every time the Word is exposed to young children.  It stumbles clumsily from their multicoloured pencil crayons, but disjointed letters, at first messily scrawled, eventually turned into a well-practiced cursive.  Eventually, when a human is capable of successfully rearing it, a Word, upon reaching maturity, also reproduces.  Many words congregate in strong, healthy syntactical structures.  These family groups are capable of coexisting peacefully with their neighbours and forming well-versed paragraphs.  It is in this form that we see the Word truly adapting to succeed in the harsh environment of the adolescent encephalon.

It is in the evolution of languages, sentences, and words that we discover the progressively changing meaning of our own existences.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word is the will to communicate, and the Word will evolve.

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This entry was posted in Essays & Literary Analysis, Etymology & Linguistics. Bookmark the permalink.

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