Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When language stinks

This is the edge of a table, seen against a low corrugated wall in a restaurant called Stink, in Tacoma.  The name is a delightful play on words -- Tacoma is known for its paper mills, but also the restaurant serves as a deli, specializing in unusual cheeses.  I'm sure any food critic would love to be able to say the restaurant stinks, but in fact the food is fabulous.

It's another reminder of the power words have to confuse and mislead us; something I've been thinking about off and on lately -- primarily in connection with Pentecost; that moment in time when everyone, however briefly, could understand one another despite the language differences.  Because much of the time it seems that language, though supposedly a way for us to communicate with and understand one another, serves more effectively as a barrier than as a bridge.

But since I'm still a little jet-lagged, I think I'll just leave it at that, and not try to explain or explore.  Perhaps tomorrow my thoughts will have more of the clarity of this photo...

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