Language, Friend or Foe?

I’m working on my next book, an exploration of the use of language in or as magic. Last night I had one of “those” dreams. It was presented in the form of a fairy-tale or teaching story.

Originally, the dream said, we all spoke the same language, and got whatever we wanted, because that language completely and perfectly reflected reality. (This bit, of course, sounds like the Babel story) At some point, however, we realized that getting everything we wanted or spoke about was often a bad thing. Just imagine how often you’ve said something you’ve regretted. So we decided, mutually, to change language so that it didn’t always reflect ultimate reality. We put little traps in language to prevent it from being used for magic acccidentally.

Neat, eh? Well, I thought so. Might run with the idea, turn it into a chapter if it seems to hold water. It adds some interesting ambiguity to the book, anyway, if I can explore the ways language can do magic as well as the ways it can derail it.

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One Response to “Language, Friend or Foe?”

  1. Speaking of language and magic, that Trading Spouses thing, with the freaky fundamentalist woman? It struck me as funny because at one point she says something like “they’ll be in my prayers till the day I die.” Then her daughter interrupts with something like “did you speak to her?” Then she says “I speak, I speak that into existence, every one of them, I speak that and I’ll see the harvest.” Yay! It’s Ok if you do magic, but everybody else is evil? Heh! But that whole speech is magic, yeah.

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