Photo: Sam Barber
Photo: Sam Barber
I think it’s time we get serious about the elephant in the room. Language. No matter how we look at it, no one REALLY knows where it came from.
The first beings that were kind of like us, didn’t have the physical equipment to be able to speak. Another group, who were around at the same time, were more well endowed, as far as vocal cords and all that stuff went. But does anyone think that one of them picked up a twig and said, “STICK,” then suddenly, that word was passed down to every generation thereafter, like monkeys using tools to get insects out of a log with a stick? Or, do you think they sounded like they were speaking ig pay attenlay, otherwise known as pig latin?
See that’s the thing with this whole language mess. Who made it up? Where did it come from? I love it when someone says, “It’s from the Latin word apple.” Excuse me? Where did Latin come from, and who, or WHAT, decided what to name EVERYTHING and invent verbs?
I think it’s impossible to find the beginning of language. Did a man walk into a cave, take one look at the wall and say, “Nice hand and antelope drawings now what’s for dinner?” I don’t THINK so.
Did Latin just spring up from an old toga? Nope. Languages have lots of words. How did any of them get to mean what they mean? Who or what, made it all up.
And..let’s not forget that it’s HARD TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. So, how did they all simply appear, or did the aliens really do it when we started getting cozy with each other and wanted to overthrow them for abuses in labor laws?
There is no logical way to get to the BEGINNING. Just like the Big Bang that never happened. When we don’t know something we pretend that we do, or make up a theory and then everyone says, “OMG finally, we can stop trying to find out what really happened and just tell everyone a story that they’ll believe, because humans aren’t all that bright, and we need more grant money.”
How did language happen? Don’t let anyone tell you how the cave people sounded, or what they talked about on a rainy day. NO ONE KNOWS. Remember what they said about dinosaurs skin, until they found out some of them had FEATHERS? Hard to believe anything we’re told, isn’t it? Look what happened to Pluto.
Do you know that there are words and sounds that you CANNOT pronounce if you didn’t learn how to do it as a wee tot? That’s true. So again, who made that up and where did it all start? I don’t believe that Latin was invented anymore than any other language.
I think language was given to us. Then our memories were erased, not that we’d notice if that happened right now. We really aren’t that bright…we’re just good at fantasizing. We don’t know where all the words came from. And why isn’t there just one language? Again, the aliens did it to us, but let’s just say they didn’t. How many words do we really need for STICK?
I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth. The early people with the more advanced throat things, killed and absorbed the group who could only grunt. It is possible the less well endowed group couldn’t argue their case, but I think, it was just one of the first power plays to take place between our cousins. “Hey, look these guys can’t talk, let’s kill them and take the women.”
I don’t look things up on Google very often, since the answers all come from other human beings, and who can trust any of them? Big Bang, feathered dinosaurs…I mean come on, something is weird in the language department. There is no way to explain it. I mean do you think a bunch of guys sat down, after inventing the wheel and fire, and started making up Latin? Yeah, I don’t think so either. I think they did a lot of pointing and grunting, just like a lot of guys still do today.
And you know males had a hand in it, since the language is so bloody sexist. If aliens were involved, I’m thinking the alien males aren’t much better than the human ones. And I bet the aliens don’t know where their language came from either.
There’s a lot more to this than meets the word, believe me. I mean stone tablets? We were trying to communicate from the beginning, but you don’t just develop a language when you don’t have paper, or do you? Don’t you need a LANGUAGE in order to write? Duh. If you didn’t have words, how could you leave a note? So where did it all come from? And yes, oral stories have been handed down from generation to generation, no paper or stone tablets needed, but the stories were told in WORDS. Where did the words and meanings come from. Where did the descriptive words fit in? How did it all begin?
Why don’t we ever add a new letter to our alphabet? Yes, yes, it would be confusing at first, but maybe we could only use the new letter in new words. That way all of our other words wouldn’t get stressed out, or worried. Letters seem nice enough. I’m sure they would agree that there’s room for at least one more of them.
We would have to change keyboards, of course, and some purists would rant and rave, stomp their feet and bemoan the fact that we are destroying the English language with all the slang we use, let alone a new letter addition. But they have complained before and yet they keep adding new words to the dictionaries. I realize it must be hard for them, but changes do occur in pretty much everything.
Maybe we could just add a new punctuation mark. A lightening bolt, for example, meaning, READ THIS NOW…THIS IS IMPORTANT…DON’T LOOK AWAY. I think that’s a good idea, since it’s more impressive than any of the symbols we currently use, including exclamation marks, and it would add more color to our text, even if we wouldn’t say it out loud. We rarely say our punctuation marks out loud. Hardly ever. Mostly not. It would seem weird to say, comma, or hyphen, or any of the others, as we spoke. Now that, would be confusing.
A lightening bolt is a strong and powerful symbol. Far more impressive than a colon, even if they would have very different, but important jobs. People don’t really like colons and semi-colons all that much, but I think they would love lightening bolts.
It’s just something to think about, that’s all.
Top photo: Héctor J. Rivas
Lightening bolt: Pixabay
people don’t say
is changing our language
The cat actually has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter. I just love cats and thought this one was cute.
Don’t you think it’s weird when someone tells you that the word they are using comes from a Latin, or Greek word, meaning the same thing? I think it is. My question, of course, is where did the Latin or Greek word come from? Cave people stared the whole thing so maybe all language began with meaningful grunts, then progressed to one or two grunts together, until they got to words.
People made up Latin and Greek. The poor cave people didn’t have anywhere to go to get their words. They literally had to start from, scratch, so to speak. Well, they couldn’t speak, not in the beginning, anyway. Physically impossible. There is a debate about all of that, since some believe more than one kind of cave person was living at the same time and one group could actually communicate better than the other, so they won. Either way, no one probably sounded like us. I don’t know what they called a tree, but I imagine a lot of pointing was done when they began. I could be wrong.
So, who started writing Latin, or anything else? What are Latin’s roots? I doubt the Latin Quarter in Paris had anything to do with it (snicker, snicker). I just want to know when the first Roman stood up and started speaking in sentences. What did people say BEFORE someone decided to make Latin up? That’s a real question. What came before all the languages and how did they turn out the way they did?
There’s always Pig Latin, or ig pay atten lay. But that’s just the bastardization of something pigs say.
Who made up languages? Some guy sitting on a fallen log, writing in the sand with a stick, naming things? It just seems weird to me. Language wasn’t and then it was. Our past is something entirely different than what we believe it to be, since there are no eye witnesses. People digging around thousands of years later are telling us what they think, but realistically, they only know a few things and extrapolate from there. In other words, more guess work.
So, we have a lot of words in different languages, that mean the same thing. But if you don’t speak the other person’s language, everyone becomes a cave person, pointing, watching body language, facial expressions, or looking things up on their phones (cave people couldn’t do that, in case you’re wondering).
We seem to take a lot for granted. Everything, in fact. The farther we get from nature, the more we get lost in other ways of living. Not may people seem to care about how cave people communicated or how language began, or how some people used hieroglyphs, while others made up something else, and all the rest. Latin is considered a Dead Language. Too difficult, complicated, not enough speakers left, or all of the above. Whatever the cave people said, or grunted was not written down. They were artists and just drew on the walls of their caves in glorious works that show all of us that creativity and beauty are something we’re born with…something that naturally lives inside of us. Think about how our culture tries to kill that and make us all the same. Cave drawings were the graffiti of its day. No one thought it was defacing property.
Anyway, that’s just what I was thinking about this morning.