The human community has invented some 3,000 different languages, And each language is honey-combed with singularity. What human tongues have in common is only purpose: the use of sounds to communicate sensations; the deployment of words to capture the swarming multitude of impressions on the self; the fashioning of symbols to express the infinite fantasies of the imagination, the devising of methods to teach what has been learned to those who do not yet know it; the creation of words, words, words that may just possibly convey the divine and the god-awful parameters of the human condition.
Of all man’s marvelous inventions, language is surely the most
amazing. It distinguishes him from all the animals; it makes
abstract thought – generalization, discrimination, analysis,
hypothesis – possible. Without language, there could be no
science or technology, no poetry or physics, no transistor or
computer, no laser, maser, zipper, or Hollandaise sauce. The
Bible says, “In the beginning was the word.” If that means
anything it means that language existed before man. The
great Rabbi Akiba’s disciples took it for granted that an
alphabet existed before God created the world. I have no way
of proving this: BUT, there is no way of disproving it either.
No language is born of, nor ruled by reason. Were English logical, the opposite of “in-law” would be “outlaw.” A female ghost would be “ghostess,” and the past tense of “squeeze “ would surely be “squose.” An unknown prankster earned my thanks with this doggerel:
One fowl is a goose but two are called geese.
Yet, the plural of mouse should never be meese.
If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is as tooth and the whole set are teeth,
Why should not the plural of booth be called beeth?
Hooray for Yiddish! by: Leo Rosten
“A Book About English”
Copyright @ 1982, by Leo Rosten ( pgs. 13-14.)
Simon & Schuster - Rockefeller Center
1230 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, N.Y. 10020
Return to the Words of Wisdom, Education menu..
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993