Language is bound to creativity. One must be able to express oneself succinctly and creatively. There’s so much freedom in words and expressions – from inside jokes, generational idioms or song lyrics, and now with technology-based invented words (Google as a verb; gif, meme, etc.).
The best part of language is that for the most part, it’s not fluid. Because language is not static, it changes and adapts to its users through time, space, and location.
Fun fact: when I started university in upstate New York, I used “mad” to mean “really”. Yes, this small Ohio farmgirl would say things like, “That’s mad cool” – not because I had a sudden interest in slang, but I wanted to fit in and have a shared language with my NYC friends.
However, language has one big problem that no one can escape: its users.
Most of us are lazy with our language – we say “awesome” when something does not, in fact, fill us with awe. We use “wonderful” or “fantastic” as corporate cheers when there’s nothing fantastic or wonderful about cheering someone on to do their job. We change the meaning of words without even realizing it. For example, if “fantastic” becomes the new normal, what is more than fantastic? If “awesome” is said each time a student gets a B+ on an exam, what will you say to that student when they get an A?
Yet this one big problem is also language’s main strength: its people.
Language connects us to our emotional selves. Not only is it our primary communication tool and one of the main reasons humans are separated from the rest of the animal kingdom, but it also is full of nuances – tone of voice, facial expression, body language, word choice, nuance, and connotations all play seamlessly into an automatic orchestra.
Even not speaking the same language, we can still get by with hand gestures, tone, and a general sense of bewilderment and wonderment.
Language adds spice to the mundane. We know something is truly awesome or wonderful based on the context. How boring would it be if your boss simply said, “adequate” every time you turned in a deliverable?
As language changes, we study it. We go online and in person, asking questions and gathering information (What, truly, does yeet mean?) We continue harnessing and harmonizing with this tool that is truly, literally, amazing: our language.