'Language is a set of conventions, not an agglomeration of eternal truths.'
Is it, really?
Well, I suppose that language is a set of conventions. That's fair enough (though it doesn't account for the way language can be playful and creative. Or for its the habit of evolving).
Language isn't an agglomeration of eternal truths, though.
Oh, but I've always thought it was - or as near as it's possible to get to one, anyway. After all, language is a project we humans and our ancestors have been working on for...oooh, ages. A million years, perhaps.
It's even longer than a million years if you go back to the waggling of the first bees' bottoms, or the croak of the first frog.
Of course we can use language to lie, cheat and deceive, but the language itself, the words and the grammar which holds the words together, isn't that one long project in refining a method of communicating exactly what you want to get across?
Isn't that why language is so precious?
Isn't it why we care so much about it?
Doesn't language present to us the whole universe, as far as we can know it? Doesn't it hold the whole of ourselves (individual, family, tribe, nation, species) as far as we can show it?
Oh yes. I'll say that language is a agglomeration of eternal truths every time.
photo by Lori from New York.
Word To Use Today: agglomeration. This word has been used in English since the 1600s. It comes from the Latin agglomerāre, to wind into a ball.