Throughout my entire life, I’ve taken history courses and learned about epic wars and battles that led to them, but somehow through all the history I’ve learned, I never actually read a book about how the English language was born. I honestly wasn’t to intrigued about reading about the African Drums, mainly because it’s common knowledge that everyone needs a way to communicate. They use their drums to express meanings, we use words, others use pulses or dots, such as Morse Code, and etc. It’s all forms of communication, not really something to brag about. I don’t know how John F. Carrington dedicated his life to learning the African Culture and learned to play the drums to communicate, was English not good enough?
The most intriguing topic I’ve read so far from Gleick’s Information, is the historical knowledge about the forming of the English language. He expressed how difficult it must have been to actually come up with something that had no meaning. As I was reading this book, I started wondering what makes what, what it really is. If that even makes sense. It’s like philosopher Gongson Long described in, “When a White Horse is Not a Horse.” The written word is defined as, a mechanism by which we know what we know. Words changed the way we live our lives by developing a form of communication that can be known universally. I never really thought about how people once argued or collaborated.
Imagine going back in time and having to create the dictionary from scratch? Reading the third Chapter helped me realize how difficult that must have been. In a way the creation of the dictionary is the creation of all written art forms we watch, hear, and read today. I never thought about it before, but creating a dictionary is the most creative art form in the world. All art forms today are created based on the content written in a dictionary. Though I know if I ever attempted to make a dictionary I would definitely try to develop some of my own words and create meanings to them, such as Ralph Lever made up the word saywhat. Though I would try to make it stick, kind of like tebowing has now become a word.
All my life I’ve wanted to create my own meaning to words like Wa-lage or Wulage (Wa - lahj or Whoo - lahj) meaning: accomplishing a precise goal with precision, as in accuracy or perfection according to your own intentions. For example, if I scored a goal in a hockey game in the top right corner over the goaltenders glove, I would say, “Walage Baby.” The word can follow almost any noun representing a person. I think it can catch on for all athletes around the world, but it can also be used for completing assignments you’ve worked very hard for. So Walage baby!