Language is just a means of expression!

Being a part of the CrazyEngineers Forum and the social media (that you can’t get rid of even if you want to), statements from random people that are grammatically incorrect and inherently erred have become commonplace. Then again we belong to the land where dialect changes after every mile, so the actual, purest form of language gets lost somewhere amidst the chaos of one language impacting the other. My mother tongue being Marathi, I have a lot of issues with people who don’t pronounce Marathi words correctly or change the basic syntax or genders of objects around us. I used to interrupt people & tell them the correct usage. It used to be quite annoying for them & for me. That was till I came face to face with a foreign language, Japanese.

In the process of understanding the nuances of this new language and having a hard time remembering & later recalling the exact sentence formation (which was actually really interesting), I experienced changes in my way of perception.

Invention of language ...was an accident?!

From the ages when apes ruled the Earth only different kinds of sounds & snorts must have been used to interact with each other. These later put into organized formats and beautified with grammar and termed as ‘Language’.

So, coming to think of it this way, I realized that the rules of language are all defined by us, human beings & now we find reasons to impose them on one another. Isn’t the purpose of language fulfilled when the other person understands precisely what you are saying even though the words used do not adhere to the prescribed regulations? Language is in fact created to pull down the barriers in conveying our thoughts & ideas. It is meant to give us the chance to express. If not for the language, the most awesome things would have left confined in our brains.

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean. Therefore, does it really matter how we utter things when all that we want is the other person to just understand what we are saying? You must agree with me on the fact that there is that one expression, one nod, one smile, one sound or one word that conveys things almost perfectly to certain people without making it necessary for us to “describe” it to them.

Why then is there a so much clamor around perfecting a language we speak or write? Why can’t we give everyone the freedom of expression by not raising eyebrows at those incorrect pronunciations?

I guess, the answer lies in the fact that we feel bliss in the purity of the form.

I would like to know your views, so please express in the comments. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Language is just a means of expression!

  1. yes so very true and each language has those particular words that befit that only as if i have to say in hindi i cant change it to english ..

    and you are right language is a mean of expression for sure

  2. A pleasant read. Reminded me of this quote by Wittgenstein :

    “If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”
    “The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.”

    You might find some of his other views on language also interesting.

    In certain cases, like when someone is trying to express one’s feelings to someone, I think, they somehow they get expressed in a limited way or are even distorted by way of our language, even if its assumed that the individual experiencing those feelings has a strong command over the language in question. I don’t know any foreign language except English, but I can certainly see evidence of that when I compare my usage of English and Hindi to express some things.

  3. To be able to communicate your feelings is the ultimate aim of a language. True. But a language is governed by grammar, so what if it is created by humans. One should try one’s best to follow grammar rules, I think. For eg. The traffic rules are created by humans too, so jumping the ‘signal’ as long as I don’t cause injury to others is not correct way. 🙂

  4. @Amy: I hope you read the second last line of this post. 🙂

    My point is that we shouldn’t create much fuss about this, but as a matter of fact & unfortunately, improper usage of language is very unpleasing to the ears. 😐

  5. If a poorly formed sentence is easy to understand, I think that is fine.

    What I really like in a language is the vocabulary. A lot of languages have an extensive vocabulary where you can express a variety of things using just a single word.

    If you are talking to a person who understands only English, how would you explain “Maya” (Sanskrit) to her?

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