April 5th, 2007

cass, can you not

Hit by a sudden moment of "I love my life"

It's an inspiriting thing, to be alive and trying to write English.
(Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, On the Art of Writing)

I'm reading a book on the semantic history of words - where certain words come from, how they were used along the way, to mean what and by whom. Some of those things I already knew, some others I didn't, but to spend a few hours reading on this topic is to end up enthralled by the beauty that are languages.

I mean, character comes from the act of engraving (and from the tool used to engrave), from there to the metaphor of qualities engraved in your face and aspect, and from there to the qualities themselves, or even to people - and that without losing the closer meaning of individual letters. Just... I think about that and can't but smile like a loon.

Everyday language is literal poetry. You probably can't write the header of a fic without using more than a dozen resources that, while conventional, are also deeply poetical (characters, yes, but also title, summary...). We don't build stuff with commonplace materials and decorate it with a few bits of poetry here and there. It's all metaphor, imagination, insight, from the foundations to the roof.

The riches we have inherited and so casually use!

It's a beautiful thing on itself.
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