January 23, 2018

Language and Its Power

 


Language and Its Power

by Shahinur Islam


Language covers a whole range of things of life. It is the mother as it holds every idea, every concept, every feeling, every history, every story practiced so far in a given linguistic world. The records of progress or regress, of accidents or incidents are made so beautifully and elaborately as are not possible in any other medium of expression. Any word in a language bears some stamp, some print, some impression of the way it is or was used, that is—the tone, flavor, attitude, etc.

But to know a language is not enough. To cover a wide range of things, you have to learn cultural language too, without which you cannot understand everything. It is especially true of the second language learners.

Uniqueness or individuality of a language spoken in different regions, especially countries bring about anarchy, disorder, and lawlessness. But in course of time, it establishes its own rule and order. At that point, the same language has different beauties like the different flowers of the same plant blooming in different soils.

Every language— be it dialectic, regional, or standard—  has its own power. Only talented writers or orators can identify and portray the beauty of linguistic power in their writings or speeches. They master the idiosyncrasies of the language, and can create beauty in the style of that language. Thus a dialectic expression finds its full bloomed beauty and enter into the mainstream language with its absolute power.

It can also be maintained that any type of language is a weapon. And as it works as a weapon, you can use it both positively and negatively: to save and kill, to make someone smile and cry, to enrich and impoverish. The positive uses are for the benefits of the nation whereas the negative uses are for the benefits of the vested quarters. Language inspires, exhilarates, persuades, and convinces us. We feel encouraged when someone comes and delivers his or her speech with the whetted power of language; we feel angry when someone comes and abuses with the use of language. So like every power, language can be used positively and negatively. But of all types of power, language is perhaps the most powerful after beauty, though it sometimes overpowers the latter, especially at the second phase. And beauty usually overpowers any power at the first sight.


However, the power a person creates or holds by using a language is limited to only the group he or she belongs, or to the people who speak the same. Here lies its limitations. It cannot surpass its boundary however powerful it is. To understand the power of language created by someone, one must enter the world of that language, and thus master it. It is wise to say here that nothing or nobody is without power. Even the dead words or persons have their own latent power.

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