A while ago, I read the book called Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, by Martha Beck (affiliatelink). I tend to forget most of what I read in those self-help books, but this was different. She presented to me a whole new concept that kind of stuck with me.
I’m reading a lot these days about finding ones own voice, and I am quite intrigued by the idea. To express what you truly feel, in a way that’s unique to you, untainted by other people’s words and phrases and expressions. Freedom from cliches. Just you. All you.
When I studied linguistics at university college a few years ago, there was this one thing that got repeated over and over again. The word is only a word; it’s just sounds put together to make a unit, and that unit is only a representation of something. The word «cat» is not THE cat, but a symbol and a representation of the common idea of what a cat is. And this is where communication gets tricky. The general idea of the underlying concept has to be present and fairly alike in all who uses that particular word, lest the communication fall completely apart.