Posted tagged ‘language’

Little Things … or How I Got Turned On and Intimidated by Language

January 7, 2011

Life. In Transit.

I recently started reading a new book. It’s excellent. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, it’s called. You should read it.

Although I used to work in publishing and probably should, I won’t delve into what the book is about. I will say this: it’s philosophical and inspiring and superb and and and and the mastery of language and beauty of writing displayed throughout… breathtaking. It stirred up my loins a bit, her writing, and intimidated the hell out of me – no way could I ever master the written word like that.  Seriously, it has caused me to lose all ability to write and, even, to speak coherently, it seems. I now criticize even my thoughts for their lack of elegance.

image courtesy Columbia Pictures

Anyway, I had just finished a passage about how grammar is necessary because it allows one to deconstruct language into its bare parts, see it naked, as it were, and revel in the beauty of a well-crafted sentence (sounds odd or boring. it’s not.), when I arrived at my subway stop and had to stop (ha!) reading. My ipod was playing a dark and introspective Tom Waits song (aren’t they all?) and I couldn’t help but take note of his lyrics and turns of phrase. I appreciated the timing, for the song matched my mood and seemed to be the musical equivalent of a good piece of literature.

The song ended, leaving me feeling all wordsy and smart, when what should my ipod play me next? Rhianna’s Please Don’t Stop the Music. And I laughed, out loud, right there on the street, likely startling small children and little old ladies with my hysterics. Seriously, folks. Rhianna just came to party. But now they’re on the dance floor, acting naughty. Yay rhyming.

Ah, language. Gotta love it.

NY,NY