The Musical Harmonies of the Written Word

The musical harmonies of the written word are fast being replaced by the cacophonies of impatience, efficiency, and inattention. One can see this most clearly in the social media, which is rife not just with sloppy, inattentive communication but also with language shortcuts often difficult to decipher. I am not speaking here of people’s efforts to communicate in a language not their own (often with great caring and clarity), but of those native English speakers who seem little concerned about their use, or misuse, of language.

What’s more, the lyrical precision and magical energies of well-chosen words in concert with one another, words with often ancient roots that can reach deep within and help awaken and support our most profound feelings, questions, and aspirations, are being replaced by the merely utilitarian–abbreviations, acronyms, and other language fragments poorly formed and devoid of harmony, fragments whose sounds seldom reverberate in the heart and soul. I give you one egregious example here: the jarring (both sound and image) efficiency of ‘RIP’ replacing the prayerful harmony of ‘Rest in Peace.’ In such abbreviations there is certainly no music to reach into the depths of ourselves.

Copyright 2015 by Dennis Lewis

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