Choosing words, using words . . . a teacher of mine, much respected, mercilessly questioned, set us a year-long project when we were 12. We should examine all philosophies, literature, arts, music, religions and sciences until we could express the nature of our humanity in as few words as possible. More than that, the entire class should agree on the final product, which meant using arguments that were persuasive and ultimately convincing.
That was when I learned the power of words. Or learnt them, British style. And the power of their absence. Wounded words, words that had been badly used, abused.
We managed to sum up the nature of being human in four words at the end of that year. Two years later, we managed to enter the world of semiotics and translate it into signs. Two signs. Not plus and minus, either.
The answer to this story is one I share with the writers I edit, the publishers I work with (hmm, potential preposition at the end of the sentence there) -- and the world leaders for whom I write speeches.
Because every time we use words, we tell a story.
Interests: Performing Arts, Music, Astronomy, Literature, Medicine, Mathematics
Published writer: Yes