A few of my favourite
words, each an aid in futures fluency in one way or another...
I love words. I love
language: its sibilance, its syncopation, its rhyme and rhythm,
its tones and tricks. All languages: I love the fact that Spanish,
Hawaiian, Japanese, and Finnish all follow very similar rules of
pronunciation except for stress and rhythm. I love the fact
that in Mandarin you can rhyme in both syllable and tone, and that
in Japanese you can express with great precision your social standing
with regard to your listener simply by conjugating the verb correctly.
That precision energizes
both art and science: poetry's preoccupation with word choice is
echoed in systems analysis, where precise choice of variable names
when creating causal loops can create a meaningful structure of
interrelationship -- and an ill choice can confound it.
I also love language's
strength in structuring our reality, and allowing us to transform
those structures at will. I love the fact that the values and priorities
of other cultures -- their relationships between people, and between
people and their environments -- are embedded in their vocabularies,
such that some cultures have words for ideas that do not exist in
Trading in the language
bazaar can be very useful in expanding the possibilities we encode
into our scenarios and visions of the future. Here are a few of
my favourite words: if you have any you'd like to suggest, please
email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are all magicians.
We are all shamans. Our power over ourselves, our world, our fellow
word magicians, often depends on how we use words. The more we know
about words and the way words are used to confront or to avoid conflict,
the more options we have in our lives. There is fun to be found
in the pages that follow, but there is also power.
They Have a Word for It,
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988, p. 38.
A delightful little lexicon
from an author more famous for writing
Virtual Reality and other books about life on the emerging electronic frontier.)