August 2017
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on my relationship with language -- what I believe about words and how I speak


I see words as having great power, not only when put before many people but even when spoken by one person with no one else around. It's like they're these imprints on the pattern of the universe, and the more a word is spoken/written, the more the universe becomes like it. I think this is true of negative words such as racist/sexist epithets, but also true of all positive statements. I've practiced daily stating aloud things I wanted in my life, and they came about through the most delicate string of 'coincidences' -- things that could so easily have never happened. I firmly believe that the reason they DID happen was because I affected the pattern of the universe by the imprint of my words.

And further, I think words have increased power when combined with emotion. When I wish to receive something, I speak about it with gratitude -- which is the pattern I will create when receiving the thing I want. In that, I see it as making the space for the new thing to come in (picturing tetris blocks here). But I think that works in the inverse as well -- if I speak of what I want with hopelessness, I am creating the pattern which will happen if I do NOT receive the thing I want. Instead of creating the space for it, I am actually blocking it out. Even if I say it enough that the pattern gets created, there may not be space in my life for it to fit in.

In my speech I try to say only what I mean and what I want. I try to use all-positive phrasing -- for instance, "I want to succeed" rather than "I hope I don't screw this up." I try to avoid using epithets of any kind -- saying something like, "wow, I can imagine I'd be really upset if I were you" rather than "so-n-so is a horrible person for doing that to you!" I try to be honest and open. I try to use very specific language and be as clear as I can, rather than using euphemisms and side-statements. In writing I try to phrase things as clearly as I can -- which usually means thinking about what questions might arise from a statement and answering them pre-emptively.

Playing? I don't know if I play with words. I speak in glossolalia sometimes, perhaps that is a way of playing. Otherwise, I consider them to be very sharp knives and I do not consider myself to be skilled enough to be tossing them around. Occasionally I have been careless and it has almost always resulted in significant hurt -- in part because people expect me to mean everything I say (and mean it with passion and forethought!) and if I say something I don't mean, they have no way of realizing that I'm just being careless. That seems so out-of-character that it doesn't even occur to them. Unfortunately sometimes even when I am careful, I phrase things badly and people still assume I meant it the way it sounded to them. But that's a side-effect I'm willing to accept because it happens fairly rarely.

(from this question on formspring)


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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.