Because it does, and my dear friend Isabelle Pride says so. Jokes.

But it does. Most fundamentally. Language is how we construct reality and our self-concept. Using it well, in full recognition of its expressive limitations, is one of our highest exercises of agency. Better words are better block to (re)constructing our reality reality.

I don’t have a coherent theory of cognition and language, and there is plenty of crazy dense philosophical and psychological work on this topic. I have experience. I cajole you to take a leap of faith and try.

Find a word/phrase/metaphor you often use, interrogate it, and then find something better. Then challenge yourself to use the new phrase/word instead of the old. Notice when you do how you feel. Note down the situations

Whether it is a predisposition to apologize when it isn’t your fault, or a category you use to counterproductively and limits your understanding of yourself, take a moment to find a better word or phrase. One that closely aligns with who you want to be and how you want to construct reality. Language is the location of the agency. Let’s pay attention to what words and metaphors we use. If language is the “limits” of my world, better words can literally mean, vaster life. I hope you give it a try. Here is a running list of my language interventions for some inspiration. Personally shifting my metaphors from Rhythm-Not-Momentum

Finding the language to understand and communicate part of ourselves to the world is transformative. I’ve also seen the oppressive weight of undirected rage, channel itself into pointed prose so many times in the writing center. It’s fucking powerful and it’s been a privilege to help some writers find that. Seeing our words on a page capturing our experience, and communicating it to others, we cannot help but feel powerful. That we’ve done something worth doing with the day, something that will last.

Words are much more:

  • Words are sites:

“Community” and “spam” are […] outstanding examples of words as places rather than fixed objects, that is zones where we can meet and negotiate about meaning. These words act as an open space for the movements of great powers and agendas, as well as small roving groups of actors. “Community” enables conversation about its meaning. — Finn Brunton SPAM - A Shadow History of the Internet Chapter 1 *Ready for the Next Message pg.7

Kind of like the word “American.” It’s a place where discourse can happen. A conceptual point in space that people can approach and move given their unique experiences and identity. Even if they are contesting its meaning.

  • Words are world-expanding:
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