The power of language…

We’ve been having some interesting discussions over the past few days on the power of language, and starting to draw ideas together for our forthcoming project.

The idea is very much in its infancy, but in broad terms, it will be about the aspects of language that are in danger of being lost in this world of text-speak and tweets – the finer nuances of language; the poetic element; the turning of a phrase that conveys more than just a surface meaning.

We’re starting with a few questions:

What is language for, other than basic communication?

What can language do, beyond the merely utilitarian?

What is the publisher’s role in supporting and fostering an appreciation of the richness of language?

“Project” is perhaps a rather grand title for this idea.  Projects tend to have project plans, milestones, outcomes, things like that.  We actually want to open a discussion in the first instance, or perhaps get involved in discussions that others are having.

But alongside all the discussion about text-speak and its impact on literacy, about multi-million dollar lawsuits arising from poor punctuation, even about the demise of the English language itself – alongside all these we reckon there’s still room to talk about and to celebrate the power of our language in all its vigour, variety and versatility.

We’ll start with a series of guest blogs from some of our own authors,  beginning in about a week’s time.

Watch this space.

3 comments on “The power of language…

  1. Perry says:

    I would argue, there is a reason English is the unofficial universal language; and that is because of its richness and ability to absorb new influences. It is the best language to explain and describe things, to pass information. In France, they strive to keep French pure, and as such fence it in, restrict it and cause it to shrink.
    Txt-speak has not replaced anything, just added a new dimension to the language, and enriched it further. English is a jumble and a mess of cultural, geographical and historical influences, and I celebrate it.

  2. diiarts says:

    Text-speak is like paper currency – it’s a convenient vehicle for simple transactions, but it isn’t the wealth itself – it isn’t the bullion in the bank. And like paper currency, if you print too much it becomes devalued.

    Having said that, we’re actually trying to stay off the text-speak debate. There’s a lot of truth in what you say about evolution, richness and linguistic influence, and that is the real wealth of the language. That’s what we want to focus on.

    The first guest blog will be up in the next few days.

  3. JDF says:

    Txt-speak (sic) has enriched our language in much the same way that over-processed fast foods have enriched our diet. Give me the linguistic equivalent of good cooking with fresh ingredients any day. But it takes longer to prepare, you cry! What of it. It takes longer to enjoy, too. Slow down, then, and enjoy it from time to time.

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