Language Is Broken

It was a sad day when I realized language was completely broken. Language, as we use it, does not result in any amount of data transfer. We are only passing references around! Let me explain.

I will be using the word “Love” as an example because it is hard for most people to pinpoint what it truly is. However the argument holds for any other word imaginable.

Everyone who has ever heard the word “love” has a mental box labeled “love”, tucked somewhere in their brains.  In it there is everything that represents love to that person: Experiences, culture, colors, expectations, memories, emotions etc… When I go up to that person and start talking about “Love” I am only passing a reference. I am going up to my mind box labeled “love”, checking the contents, nodding smugly to myself because I know what I saw in the box IS the correct definition, and then I pass the label forward. The other person takes the label, goes to his/her box and looks in it and that is what he understands. What we see in our respective boxes can be COMPLETELY different. In reality none of the actual contents of my box got transferred. Not even a single byte of tangible information!

This is why everything we do regarding language is trying to keep the contents of the boxes as similar as possible. When the boxes are too different we say that we don’t speak each others language. But sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, there is no possibility that we can make our boxes identical.

Realistically your box and mine box are pretty much the same, probably it is very hard even to distinguish the differences. Still, something to keep in mind when People. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

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