Shooting the message

Real Live Preacher waxes eloquent about the perils of language (via the Progressive Faith Carnival for Feb. 5):

Words sound nice and they are like magic. You write words on paper and a thousand miles away, someone looks at the paper and says, “I like the sound of that. Do it again.”

Only there is no such thing as a word. A word is only a sound, and writing is even farther removed from reality than that. Writing is a mark that stands for a sound that stands for something unknown and perhaps unknowable.

If you love words, you must renounce them. You must throw them to the ground like the statue of a false god and trample them. You must deny them three times. You must name these demons and cast them out.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity…. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words… Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (Eccl. 12:8,10,12)

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