Thursday, December 4, 2008

Never Say Never

"Never, never never!" said my two and a half year old grandson when, at the Thanksgiving dinner table, his father suggested that flinging food might have to be treated with a time out. Well, time out it was, and the little boy returned to the table to eat a bit more in relative calm. But what struck me was his use of the word, "never." It is not the same as "no." To me "never" suggests possibility as well as the negation of that possibility. To me it is a very abstract concept for anyone under three.

Subsequently,for the past few days I have been considering language and all its wonderful nuances that we humans, thousands and thousands of years into the practice of it, are able to use. I have been thinking of the very poor use of language such as swearing and gutterspeak and of the exalted use of language heard in the soaring sentences of the prophet Isaiah, particularly at this time of year.

Writers are keepers of language, whether we publish or not. It is we who take words and craft them into lasting images. It is we who are responsible for recording the histories and hopes of mankind, whether it be in diaries, letters or manuscripts. This thought is what keeps me writing, and perhaps I will "never" give up.

2 comments:

  1. "Never give up. Never surrender!"

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  2. Or as I tell myself... The only way to guarantee that you will never get published is by giving up.

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