Words, words, words

Words, words, words

A Story by Chelsea Schermerhorn

An essay I wrote for a scholarship application about a concept that intellectually excites me.



“’What do you read my lord?’ ‘Words, words, words.’” William Shakespeare understood the value and importance of these basic units of language. Words are by far one of the most underrated, fundamental aspects of life whose magnificence is completely undermined and neglected. Whether in speech or written, words are the complete basis on which human intelligence lies. Without these simple building blocks, communication, intelligence, and even wealth would not be in existence.
            From the beginning of time, man has searched for a way to communicate effectively and to share ideas and designs. The earliest of men communicated with body language and hand signs and made records with pictures and drawings on the inside of cave walls. Speech and language were a revolution in history without which, the later, seemingly more important Agricultural Revolution could not have taken place. Language eradicated the need for body language and actually placed the human species above all other animals. Written language eliminated the necessity of cave drawings like those in the Caves of Lascaux in France as a means of recordkeeping and instead, scribes wrote the first books of religion, fables, and history.
             Because of the revolution into a world of words, Men were able to establish their true intelligence and develop it further into other areas of life. Knowledge was recorded and kept safe within pages of parchment and scrolls; libraries containing records from all over the word were built specifically for the purpose of housing those treasure troves of words. Words and language led to the studies of science and mathematics, art and history. The entire foundation of knowledge lies on the single importance of words.
            Because knowledge lies on words and wealth depends on knowledge, wealth inadvertently relies on words. This syllogism is perceived in all aspects of life. In today’s society, illiterate families are the ones who are impoverished and destitute. Men and women who do not attend college make less money and are employed in lower-paying jobs because they are not considered as intelligent as those who do receive a college degree. The well-educated men and women who master knowledge are considered the best civilization has to offer.
            Amazingly, words hold enormous power. Without words, human beings would have no sense of a civilization, society, or government at all. Even more than representation of the real world, words can build a completely alternate world altogether. When people can escape from one reality and place themselves in another, altogether different one by simply reading words, how can this basic marvel be so ignored and totally diminished by the hands of the human species who completely rely on it?
            Bewildering is the fact that there are so many words in the world and so many different languages that use those words. The possibilities that these building blocks are capable of are utterly endless. The very idea presented in George Orwell’s 1984 is preposterous that language can be so broken down to consist of only twenty-seven root words. Why?

© 2008 Chelsea Schermerhorn

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Added on September 29, 2008


Chelsea Schermerhorn
Chelsea Schermerhorn

Bruceville-Eddy, TX

I like books of all sorts, old and new, I love it when the words of a book draw pictures in my mind, I love movies of all genres except horror, learning about all things, including history, pop cultur.. more..