Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Gift of Language

Have you ever wondered what language Adam and Eve spoke?

I recently heard Ken Ham speak on the Origins of the Earth, and it got me to thinking about some assumptions that are commonly made about language.

First of all, we tend to believe that language began from a primitive state, and developed more sophistication as time went on. My experience with the English language is just the opposite. Although we are adding technical words daily, and creating cultural jargon, the language itself is becoming more utilitarian in nature, and in some cases more primitive. Take, for example the language of texting: Cn u c wut I mean? Most linguists agree that there is no evidence of primitive language in the historical record. When language appeared, it seemed to be highly complex.

Another assumption is that written language is an upgrade. Well, this may be true.  A physical symbol has greater historical presence than an oral (non-recorded, that is) recitation. But, the value of recitation, as it was used in 'old-school' education, is that it belongs exclusively to the learner's memory, and is therefore retrievable immediately, in any circumstance or location. Even the Kindle can't promise this!

We often think of language as a 'human invention'. The book of Genesis records God's words, "It was good," as being the first uttered.  As many questions as this raises, it also changes our way of looking at language. Communication, in the form of words, is a gift from God.

Imagine for a moment, a day without words. Enough said.

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