What Words Mean

https://xkcd.com/1860/

I think it’s astonishing that the universe is contained in eight letters. Or that love is contained in four. It’s one of the things I adore most about language. We can build entire worlds with the correct assembly of lines, dashes, and dots. We can bathe in the deep black of the galaxy with stars whizzing past. Or fall into a pile of red-dusted leaves in the autumns of our childhoods. I can make a whale orbit the sun or a blade of grass tickle your ankle as you walk towards the beach. Even just a single word can pull you into a litany of half-remembered moments–the breeze of the ocean, and light of the sun through the trees, the image of Saturn’s rings from a book.

But words are also tricksters. They mold themselves to fit sentences and preconceived notions, creating misunderstandings and stripping nuance from even the best-formed phrases.

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Question Words

Question DoodlesWho. What. Where. When. Why. How. These are the words at the foundation of human curiosity. They allow us to express our desire for information. They allow us to express our desire to know. And boy do I want to know.

I find myself stumbling over two of these words more frequently these days. As much as I would love to know the where and the what and the who of my future self, it is the why and the how that seem to matter the most. These two questions might just uncover the elemental nature of being – to expose the underlying force that moves the world.

Why am I here? How do I reach my goals? 

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