Lime School

Words Mean Too Much and I Am Infantile(ly Using Them)

Emil Sayahi
Sandra Dunstan-Hoover
AP English Language and Composition
14 February 2020

Words Mean Too Much and I Am Infantile(ly Using Them)

  Simple problem: you look at a block of words. Let’s be a little proactive and try to solve this one.

The missile knows where it is at all times. It knows this because it knows where it isn't. By subtracting where it is from where it isn't, or where it isn't from where it is (whichever is greater), it obtains a difference, or deviation. The guidance subsystem uses deviations to generate corrective commands to drive the missile from a position where it is to a position where it isn't, and arriving at a position where it wasn't, it now is. Consequently, the position where it is, is now the position that it wasn't, and it follows that the position that it was, is now the position that it isn't. ("GLCM Guidance System")

OK, nevermind. Reading this is stroke-inducing, or rather, the experience of reading this induces symptoms often reported to be associated with strokes and the likeish thingies, because the words have vague meanings individually that are not resolved when paired together. It’s a sea of words demanding relation and context that just aren’t getting any. This need for contextual relation to give words meaning is a bit of a problem that has roots in the way language forms in people’s minds.
  This has led me to make the radical claim that the color brown is not real. Run a little experiment for yourself:
  1. Pull up an orange-ish color with low luminosity on your phone while sitting in a dark room. I recommend #824000 for the optimal orange, though you’re free to use any free-range, garden-variety color value of your choosing.
  2. Close your eyes for thirty seconds or so.
  3. Pop ‘em open. Record what color you see.
  4. Turn the lights on and observe again.
Now, with the lights off, you may have observed that you saw dark orange, the color you picked. But, with the lights on, you saw brown! This is because you were given context to the color in the form of background light. When a dark orange color is given context, your mind interprets what you’re seeing through your own understanding of the world. You see brown because you believe in brown.
  This extends to all areas of life where the human mind decides to interpret. People draw their contexts from linguistically-defined models that they build in their minds. We define colors, categorizing them, associating them with contexts. Now, take this further to philosophy, politics, sociology, academia, and the cognitive dissonance common to those areas becomes understandable. People actually, quite literally, cannot see beyond their own interpretations if given enough context. To strip a concept of its interpretation requires stripping it of its context and rebuilding it from the ground up in its most basic form.
  Leon Fetsinger, some social psychologist guy I think, wrote A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), where he said that people need consistency in their beliefs. If their ideas conflict, then they have no clue what belief to base their world on, and thus grow discontented. I’m just citing him so you believe me, but it’s a fairly obvious thing to take note of. Look at any current point of contention, and you will find no resolutions in any debate, because so long as two people are left on this planet, someone is going to want someone else to shut up.
  This is why I can talk to little kids well. Since my head is practically empty, and kids have got really small heads, we can talk to each other while our words just bounce around in our heads without ever really reaching anywhere. Brilliant stuff. Once people grow a bit older their heads have so many words that their skulls are filled with them! I mean, to the point where there’s nothing else in there! Seriously, any understandings anyone’s developed while playing around and exploring life has been substituted by “words” that do the job.
  This is why I don’t like words; reading them, writing them—not my thing, really. I hit the point where I was too tired for any more words a few hours before I sat down to write these ones, and I’m not sure if I’m using the right ones in the right places in the right order. The only thing that I do know is right, is that this world in people’s heads is wrong because it isn’t real. And if you disagree with that, shut up, because I used the right words, because my words are the best words and I’m real.
  Since words mean too much and our monkey-ape brains are too goopy to make it do right, if you ever believe you’re right, do the following:
  1. Pull up an unrelated thought with low verbiage in your head while alone and lonely. I recommend trivia for the optimal thoughts, though you’re free to use any free-range, garden-variety brain gunk of your choosing.
  2. Close your eyes for thirty seconds or so.
  3. Pop ‘em open. Make your claim and record how confident you are that you’re right.
  4. Try to make the same claim to someone’s face and observe your confidence again.

Works Cited

"GLCM Guidance System". Vol 5, no. 4, 1997, p. 5., http://afmissileers.com/newsletters/NL1997/Dec97.pdf. Accessed 15 Feb 2020.


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