The Late Great Alex Haley, was a world – renowned American writer, and in his latter years of life, a photo of a turtle sitting on a fence resided on his office wall. Put a pin in that for now.
Throughout the development of language, semantic change is known as a phenomenon due to the fact, a meaning of a word can either be slightly altered, or evolve greatly. As humans, we strive to do the same. Becoming fully aware of how impactful our words are, is a study of manifestation alongside harmony. Laziness with language is not a brag to hashtag about on IG and if we do not utilize lyrical exercises consistently, a disaster will be potentially hovering around the corner, impatiently waiting to knock on the door. Essentially, words can be equivalent to a liquid sword; our tongue can be sharper than a razor blade. An ingredient to build or destroy.
Study great lyricists of our time and it’s easy to notice those who have mastered the English language. A good lyricist, can use words to juxtapose and drive a clear and deeper meaning, intentionally contrasting two ideas. ‘To illustrate, listen to the song, ‘Oceans,’ by hip-hop artist Jay-Z, “I’m anti Santa Maria/Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace/I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket/Black card go hard when I’m shopping/Boat docked in front of Hermes picking cotton.” Feel free to call me for translation, LOL … Another skill an astute wordsmith possesses, is the use of double entendres. “I father, I Brooklyn-Dodger them, I jack, I rob, I sin.”
Words, like the weather dressed properly, feel better in season than out. Specifically, the words ‘I‘ and ‘my.’ They are consistently present, sitting in attendance, protruding daily – stirring the boiling pot for those that are in relationships. Whether spouses, exclusively dating, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers, partners, teammates we have all been guilty of statements such as, “I do all of… My money… My place… My team… I did it on my… My dream… My room… My stats… I take care of… My ball/toy… My car… My food… My coke… My program…” etc…
The take home is this… We don’t have to be a profound literary writer nor a lyricist in the music hall of fame to understand the concept of the words ‘I’ and ‘my,’ nor a genius to comprehend the meaning of the turtle on the fence portrait, hanging on the writer’s wall. For Alex Haley, as it should be for us, it was a daily reminder that he (the turtle) didn’t get there on his own. We all need help. We all are in this together. No one has done it alone.