The word is a powerful tool, especially when placed in order from left to right (or in some cultures, from right to left) with a bunch of other words. The word is SO powerful, so subtle a tool; that men and civilisations have risen and fallen throughout history often with only words to hold their sanity in a world of questionable morals.
Words are steadfast. They remain. They can be thought or spoken or written, but something about the way they attempt to capture and narrate the transience that is a human life has led to words being the focus of our modern society. From the earliest humans grunting and gesturing, intoning their voice to indicate caution or amusement or love, words sprang forth into the lives of humans and they have held our social fabric together ever since.
Some people believe in one particular book with a lot of particular words, and choose to live their personal lives by these words written by others; dictating their behaviour and potentially predisposing their destiny. Some choose instead to see words as a toy, a peculiar plaything to be picked apart and scrutinised, with meaning and reinterpretations reverberating from every particular choice of prose.
A word, bare of context, is just a word, and can only mean itself.
Text within context springs to life and you as the reader can choose to make sense of it as best you can. The more contexts, the easier the meaning of any given word becomes to ascertain.
Despite some flowery words in the prior paragraphs, (as well as some subtle alliterations and admittedly aggressive assonance), my point has remained simple.
Words are powerful.
Will Longfield, writer
© 2013 The Copy Collective.