Easy Does It?
Posted: April 2, 2021
The challenges of language and meaning…
Some things are easier to do than others. Correct? This just arrived in my computer for my wife: Our 1954 Classmates remember their three foreign exchange students.Maybe not everyone. For all of you who wonder why folk from other countries have a bit of trouble with the English language there was a clever piece put together by an English teacher, who else? Here is a gist of what she wrote:
- The bandage was *wound* around the *wound*
- The farm was used to *produce produce*
- The dump was so full that it had to *refuse* more *refuse*
- We must *polish* the *Polish* furniture.
- The soldier decided to *desert* his dessert in the *desert*
- Since there is no time like the *present*, he thought it was time to *present* the *present*
- I did not *object* to the *object* and many more
Only one of many difficulties nestled in languages so no doubt it is true that languages can be difficult to both learn and teach at home and abroad. And there is no universal language anymore if there ever was one (Adam and Eve?).
We live today in a world capable of handling multiple languages more so than ever but how well it is done is another question. With speed unheard of before, and size unimaginable not so long ago the challenges seem endless. With a national election held not long ago, will improvements take two or four years or never? When will our borders be open or closed permanently? Will we have one, two or three Political Parties? Will our local organizations and institutions be changed or remain the same? Is it possible that some day one vast Nation will call the shots worldwide?
These are some of the possibilities lying dormant or restless in a world of many languages, each with its own subtleties, dreams, objectives for good or evil, right or wrong, neighborly or standoffish by whatever motivates their culture, politics, religion if any, language or capability. Human nature may well be far more problematical than we credit it with for its good and evil, right and wrong, reasonable and unreasonable, stubborn and docile traits, selfish and generous to mention a few.
When it comes to coming up with the right words, it's not easy, is it? Remarkable that we can communicate at all, and amazing when it works well!
Search all articles byDan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community. • E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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