Logocracy

In the beginning was the word.

Then came the spellchecker, google web fonts and all that other stuff. But fact is, the word has always shaped reality for us carbon-based bipeds, and it’s become especially powerful in today’s communication driven society. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we live in a logocracy. And that’s great news for us writers!

The meaning of logocracy, the rule of words or government by the power of words, has undergone several changes throughout history. Words spoken by military leaders in times of turmoil motivated the masses. Words spoken by religious leaders in times of hardship gave people hope. Words spoken by artistic leaders have influenced generations, and the words written down by political leaders have become law.

The combination of words and power has always made history. It is a matter of debate if the power came first and made the word compelling, or if it was the word that brought power to its speaker. Sure, we only tend to listen if the person who talks has some power or authority already. But if you doubt that words can give power where there was none before, just think of the energetic speeches that have elevated Hitler from the rank of soldier to Führer of the Third Reich, or of the 17-minute speech given by Matin Luther King that has irreversibly transformed the relationship between races.

We proudly say we live in an era of communication, but we’re still fresh beginners. Technological advancement, the diversification of the media, the internet and globalization on several planes have given the word a lot more weight than it had before. As writers, we’re highly aware that skillfully combined words can create entire worlds and offer unforgettable experiences to those who receive them. We’re also aware that careless, harsh words can hurt and hinder personal growth. Words can both offer and take freedom of mind. And today, words can travel around the globe in a minute and affect people much faster.

Logocracy has never before been so widespread as it is today. Our lives are ruled by words. No matter where we turn, language shapes our perception. It interprets the images we see, accompanies the music we hear, fills the screens that illuminate our homes at dusk, and rolls down the social media news feeds that shape our children’s self-perception.

As writers we’re both slaves and masters of words. We build edifices with words and then live in them, we tear down language to the bone, and then reshape it with new meaning. And in the end, we’re nothing but lunatics caught in a lexic labyrinth, laboring and lamenting our loads but loving every ludicrous minute of it!

Ha! Take this, #atozchallenge!

*I need a freakin drink!*

 

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This blog post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, April 2012

15 Replies to “Logocracy”

  1. Get out of my head!

    Seriously, I was just thinking about a fantasy story themed around logocracy before I started the A to Z challenge, and put it off for when I’d be able to give it laser beam focus. I’d tell you some more details about it, but I covet new ideas like Gollum, and this one still has me giddy.

    Anyways, awesome entry as usual! The power of words is tremendous in the right (or wrong) hands. In the *ahem* words of Nathaniel Hawthorne:

    “Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

    Like

    1. Can’t blame you for brooding over ideas, we understands it. Sometimes they need to ripen and brew before they’re even ready to be mentioned. I’ve been keeping mine in the deepest corner of my dungeon for years before finding the proper shape for it, and it still has me giddy.

      Like

  2. So freaking fabulous! The post, I mean, and you of course, because you wrote it, and because your fabulous thinly thoughts are in it and under it and all over it like chocolate sprinkles. Nothing I say in my response can in any way do justice to how much enjoyment I’ve derived from reading this, from beginning to end. And what an end! That antepenultimate sentence had me whooping out loud! Take that, indeed, A to Z!

    Without words, everything falls apart. Without words, we’re still grunting and grabbing. Logocracy. Yes. Words rule.

    Like

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