The Power of Words

It is said that an average man utters 7000 words each day, versus the 20,000 words spoken by an average woman in the same time. But have we ever wondered how words are made? With the vibrations caused in the throat, sound is produced and with the movement of the lips and the tongue, words are distinguished. Words are used to express thoughts. All that the mind sees as visual is transformed into words to communicate with fellow human beings. However, is there a need for speech to communicate? Not necessarily. A baby does not know to speak, yet the mother understands the child’s needs with the gestures that the child makes. Little by little, the child is taught to speak. An adult who knows one or two languages has a million words stored in the brain. The early man began to communicate by making random sounds and noises with his mouth. And from then on, language is believed to have come into existence gradually.

Some believe that until the incident at the Tower of Babel, the entire human race spoke only one language. And on that day, suddenly people spoke different languages and they did not understand each other. This is believed to be the origin of languages. Today, there exist roughly 6500 languages all around the world, of which some languages have very few speakers and some do not have written script. The rise of words and languages is mysterious. Another belief is that when languages grew, they emerged taking their roots from existing languages. French, Italian and Spanish are known as sister languages because they are similar in sentence construction pattern and grammatical rules. People of the same region speak the same language, and these languages help distinguish people and nations.

On the subject of the origin of languages, it must have been the primitive man who created the first language. Perhaps, the first man who ever lived on earth must have looked at a tree and made a random noise that sounded something like “tree”, and so it was named. And then came other words and a language developed from there. However, can the world function without languages? To answer this question, we need to know how the growth of languages has impacted the world. Words help us organize our thoughts and express them clearly to others around us: without them, we would not be able to share our ideas or opinions, and each man would have been in his own world. It is a group of people who speak the same language, practice the same habits and follow the same principles that leads to the rise of a community.

It is a fact that humans appeared on earth 200,000 years ago but the first form of written evidence dates back to only 3200 BC. The human race did survive centuries with just verbal communication, but at the same time, there was not much improvement in the standard of living. Languages bring people together, because without language, there would be no talking, no sharing, no literature, no books, no theories, no ideologies, no laws, and probably no inventions. The earth would have been silent, and man would have stuck to cultivating and eating for survival. Having said all this, it is important to note that words have power, and are a powerful tool to humanity. Words have the ability to unite people and make the world a better place. Words have the energy to make a beautiful world but also the energy to destroy it; they have the power to help, heal, hinder, hurt, harm, humiliate and humble.

Written history helps us understand how our ancestors survived. Literature has had a great impact on social, economic and historic movements all over the world. People live in societies sharing common ideas because of a common language. Great minds with big dreams transmit their thoughts into the right words to share their ideologies and principles. Over the course of many centuries, languages developed, literature flourished, and communities rose. Great inventions and discoveries have changed the way the world functions today. How do we use our words today? Do our words encourage or demean someone? Do our words hurt or bring smiles? What me must always remember is that the pen is mightier than the sword.

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