Written language is somewhat restrictive

July 22, 2013 Posted by: Felecia

*Author's note:  This is an unfinished piece that I'm posting to the blog because I'm interested in hearing others' ideas about it.

Some people are afraid to write down their thoughts because, like many things, the written word can always be misinterpreted.  That is why, I believe, many of the historical religious leaders preferred not to write down their own teachings.  The teachings of most of the world's main religions are written into scriptures by later scholars who were former students or disciples of the great leaders.

The written language is somewhat restrictive when we attempt to communicate the greatest ideas.  Perhaps it is because there are many ideas and objects in this world which we have not yet given a name.  I am not against writing, but I believe the best way to communicate large ideas is to physically meet with another person.  To hold an active conversation with another human who responds to our beliefs allows us to clear misconceptions easily.

10 Comments Comments icon

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  2. July 25, 2013 at 12:29

    I like the following lines..."The written language is somewhat restrictive when we attempt to communicate the greatest ideas and... Perhaps it is because there are many ideas and objects in this world which we have not yet given a name." Your piece illustrates the relationship between the very essence of the wriiten language and its' meaning. It highlights ones quest to capture such truths.

  3. July 24, 2013 at 08:26

    Felecia: I think that there is a great potential for misunderstanding in writing on the internet. When I speak I convey part of my message by changing the inflection of my voice, or I pause for an effect. I have observed that, with the internet blogs and such, it is too easy to write a reply in the heat quickly, or in a hurry, or in the heat of the moment, and the meaning which was intended is lost. Good job!

  4. July 23, 2013 at 06:16

    Felicia - This reminds me as well of the activity we did on the first day of Project Write where we made a communication timeline. Do you think that there are some forms of written communication that can spark understanding as well?

  5. Peg
    July 23, 2013 at 08:48

    The book "Hunchback of Notre Dame" emphasizes that with the invent of the printing press, the language of architecture died. Another line of thinking- in Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" he explains how a concept (which has no word or name for it) can best be used by the subconscious by mixing of two images that are identified. What those two things have in common, the intersection, represents the "thing" that is in the dream. That's why sometimes people and places change mid-dream. Lastly, I love reading various interpretations of the bible at the same time, to see what they do and don't say in common.

  6. July 23, 2013 at 07:54

    I agree, Felecia! I think face to face communication let's us see each other as the fellow human beings we are - and allows for friendship to begin. I hope you will write more on this subject!

  7. July 22, 2013 at 07:29

    Felecia, your piece reminded me of how Plato feared that emerging technology of writing would destroy the rich oral traditions and lesson reliance on memory. I think we need both oral and written forms communications depending on purpose. And I am glad your wrote this piece.

  8. July 22, 2013 at 06:55

    Isn't it ironic that we're having this conversation in writing?

  9. Al
    July 22, 2013 at 06:49

    Well said, Felecia and Mrs. E! Another good example is how many people still watch the Presidential debates. We want to see and hear the the message just as the speaker delivered it. But I also want to offer a counter-thought. Some of the greatest works of literature (fiction and non-fiction) are the greatest works because they leave room for us to make the story or the message our own. I'm just saying...

  10. July 22, 2013 at 06:26

    I agree with you. From personal experience It has happened to me. I would like to read the rest of this blog.

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Last updated: July 22, 2013

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