The Hidden Storehouse
Language and Thinking
A different language is a different version of life.
— Federico Fellini
Fellini is right, but he stops short of the essential thought.
Words softly tread upon our minds, making their marks. Some repetition is beneficial, it is after all the basis of ritual. But successful ritual requires repetition and attention—If we are careless, we risk imprinting unworthy grooves in our language and thought. The words and concepts we see repeated the most might become our intellectual borders. Deep grooves become ruts, and we may forget how to think clearly, on our own, and with our own voice. The world is covered with this film of inertia.
How then can we better give attention to language?