Preface

Words are most often symbols for other things. Imagine a world before language. How did people communicate? With grunts and groans and pointing with fingers?  

When did words come to mean things? How does a civilization construct a language where a singular vocalization means the same thing to all the members?  

There is something magical about turning vocal sounds into language. Language is magical!  

I think all wordsmiths are in love with language. It is the medium of the writer and the poet. It's the paint of the muse. Words convey ideas, symbols, and meanings.  

Words have style, tone, nuance, flavor, slant. Words can be funny or sarcastic, light or sombre; they can invoke or evoke, blame or forgive. They can inflame or exclaim. They can immolate or assassinate, sink ships, start wars, save lives, end conflict; in fact words, given meaning are stand-ins for just about anything.  

How they are used and the purpose or motivation behind them is useful information. Intention is everything and it is so with words as well. Content and context says it all.  

Language is not inherently good or bad, beautiful or evil. Words themselves have no "charge." It is their use and the intent behind them that determines their worth and intention.

Are words harmless? Yes. Is the meaning behind them harmless? Not always.  Interpretation is that added ingredient- the emotion attached to words that comes from the translation and the translator. Does the receiver always hear what the sender intends? Why or why not?  

Words are spoken and they are written. Can words harm? Yes. Can they save? Absolutely. Can they heal? Without question. Are they weapons? Oh yes. Can they kill? Most definitely. And they have.  

Words have power. Words are power. The concept of force and power, by necessity, brings up a question: What responsibility do we have when using words?