It’s 14th February and at InFusion we think it’s only right to celebrate the most enduring and taken for granted affair we are ever likely to have. presenting InFusion’s Ode to Language from our own linguaphile, director, Sara Hawthorn.
Since we first uttered, signed or wrote our first words, language has been our constant companion, our pillar of communication and something which both unites and divides us. Our relationship with language has been tumultuous; we have both loved and loathed it, abused it, manipulated it, exclaimed over it and moulded it to suit our purpose.
Words have been a potent paramour to humanity from the earliest tomes to the fleeting, modern exchanges of Snapchat. They provide the fuel to allow us to express our swinging range of emotions and the freedom to explore our minds, souls and experiences as humans and, more importantly, share what we find with others.
For me, the ability and skill to write has carved and shaped every element of my life, from the nonsensical stories written in crayon at my Grandparent’s coffee table to the decision to step out and build my own business. I dislike the concept of soulmates, but my relationship with language is bone deep; it is the backbone of everything I do professionally and my route of escape privately.
It’s such a constant in our lives yet so routinely taken for granted and considered unimportant. Words are not just meaningless blobs on paper or screen, they are sung joyously or with great gravity, recited to children as we tuck them in at night, repeated as mantras to give us strength, screamed at those we wish to hurt and withheld from those we wish to punish.
For those who doubt the continuing daily influence of language go read a newspaper, spend ten minutes on twitter or think about your favourite adverts as you look at the labels and brands which are spread throughout your house. It genuinely saddens me that we’ve become so careless with such a faithful partner, that we’ve become so flippant and ignorant of the power freely given to us by language and so quick to let words loose from our bodies impervious to the damage they may do once free.
This Valentine’s Day when you read the verse of a card, play your favourite song, dive into a good book, or drink in the sweet nothings of a loved one, take a moment and consider those words and the millennia of history which led them to your life. Is language still so insignificant a companion?
Sara Hawthorn is MD at InFusion Comms. She loves language, words and agonising over putting them in an order which brings joy to the world. Or at least to clients.