Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Do Words Do?

"The substance of a thought is the peace it brings"
What the heck are words? (I'll bet you were asking yourself this very question.) We don't talk a lot about words themselves. Discussing words is sort of weird because you have to use words to do so. And some of them might not want to snitch on their own kind. Plus some words have singular meanings while others have multiple meanings depending on context; and the first group might get jealous.

So let's not talk about words except to say they're made with letters and we put them together with other words in order to communicate with our fellow humans (and dogs, cats and the occasional goldfish). Suffice to say their effectiveness depends on whether others are paying attention. But without words we'd all be doing charades all day to pass messages between each other. While that would be fun at first (and would make political debates downright entertaining), it's not the most efficient way of conversing. So that's words. Done. Good. (phew)

Now we can talk about what words do. Some might just say they're a link between comprehension and action. They prompt understanding and allow appropriate responses. While one word can be an understandable message, more words add clarity and too many words can just be confusing. And they can have funny effects. Words can either make you want to climb walls or make you so comfortable you just want to cuddle.

So about today's visual. I wrote those words on a scrap piece of paper when I was in my twenties. This was before most of my adult life when I was still something of a dreamer. I didn't mean to keep it. It just stuck around. And over the years I'd stumble across it now and then.

I don't remember who authored it. It was so long ago. Maybe I did (pick this one if you like it) and maybe it was someone else (definitely pick this if you don't like it).

Not being a real 'new age' person (no mantra here), I don't have many words that I say to myself that would bring me peace. I guess I'm more prone to words that prompt my "flight or flee" mechanisms. But I've learned that words from other people can help you relax. Some have done just that for me. I'll leave you today with a few favs from over the years:
  • "Your account has been credited with the amount wrongly debited." This is a huge relief to hear. Sometimes they even add neat advice, like "From now on you might refrain from investing in fake shrimp farms."
  • "Hey, you're not as ugly as I thought you'd be!" If this is not followed by the words, "You're worse!" this is very calming
  • "There's no need to blue-rinse your hair to appear distinguished." Self-help books about aging gracefully are great, aren't they? I'm thinking I this should be my next project
  • "The test results are negative." This only works if you're not part of a couple who are trying to get pregnant
  • "Just kidding..." Hearing these words usually follows a period of high anxiety induced by a jokester. Smile and activate your "flee mechanism" as soon as is appropriate
  • "The reference between you and hamsters wrapped in hockey tape has been deleted." Let me just say that sometimes the humor that goes around a creative studio can get quite weird
  • "You may eat with your hands." This was great to hear when I was a kid. It released the animal in me (without being sent to the corner), and finally
  • "I keep your book in the bathroom and read it all the time." While this is very nice to hear but sometimes I have a hard time with the picture that puts in my head.
Have a great week everyone!


  1. Let me reassure you right now, Rand: I don't and have never kept your book in the bathroom.

    (phew! thank goodness for those words)

    PS Get that image out of your mind right now!

    1. Ha! I was thinking more of our friend Brian from Atlanta... :o)

    2. Oh boy! That's an image and a half. He probably has his dog there with him, too.

      He'd be proud to announce that he'd read your book several times, too.

  2. Oh my! I've discovered missed Rand posts! How did that happen? I'll work on keeping my priorities straight in the future. A couple I gifted art to has decorated all their bathrooms with it. They don't get any more art until I make it to a better room :)

    1. Glad you found your way back, Linda! Hope it's been worth your while. :)

  3. I like this post, but in the global village images and music are better communicators.