For the love of language...

Have you ever noticed that there are those people who seem to have a gift with words?  Some people just make language sing.  Wit, heartfelt honesty, clever analysis and thoughtful critiques are the things that inspire me.  They make me think, and feel.  It is quite something to connect with a person because of words on a page or screen, or be amazed by the effortless artistry of an off-the-cuff quip.

I have written before about my love of Stephen Fry and David Sedaris.  One very early conversation Peter and I had was quoting Oscar Wilde.  We both love the joy and humour of his work.  Carrying on the smart and funny theme, if you haven't treated yourself to David Mitchell, can I suggest you see his work on Soapbox.  You would think it impossible for someone to argue the merits of necrophelia, but David does...convincing us all with a wry twinkle in his eye.  But it's not just the humourist I adore.  Seeing Virginia Trioli take down Peter Reith was as fulfilling as watching her interview John Waters.  Intelligence should be celebrated and revered.

Language can be powerful.  Words can connect people and create communities.  It can inspire greatness and support us through hardship.  To be able to communicate is one of the greatest gifts we have.  I love writing my blog, regardless of who reads it.  I write for me.  I am a bit of a facebook fan, and really adore Instagram.  Somehow people seem really interested and supportive and chatty on Instagram.  For me it's where I've connected with people I've never met and we talk about our lives through our photos.  Some people are just gems.  I lurk on twitter, and I feel that's mainly because I never have anything pithy or insightful to say in 140 characters.  I'm MUCH better at quipping from the couch, but I salute and enjoy those that can.  I guess sometimes I'm loathe to say what I think on twitter, as it would be reactionary and sweary.  Particularly if it had to do with politics, the environment or religion.  I am well known for dropping F and C bombs like a dockworker.  Which is why I love those people who can communicate insightfully.  Yes - it's better to create a tumblr page of Tony Abbott looking at things than it is to be the 3,460th person to call him a prick.  No matter how personally satisfying it may be (he really is a hate-mongering arsehole).

And that's why the news this week about trolling online has been so awful.  For anyone living under a rock, Charlotte Dawson ended up going to hospital after a bullying attach via twitter.  There has been much said about this issue, looking at the argument about trolling from many angles.  Some insightful, intelligent, inspiring women have written about this.  Sadly, many of them have written from their own unfortunate experience with 'the haters'.  I suggest you check out: Marieke Hardy, Clem Bastow, Helen Razer, Catherine Deveny and Clementine Ford.  Marieke says it best, there is a difference between a rash comment pushing the envelope of taste and good manners, to structuring a hate campaign hoping to destroy someone.

I guess this is what breaks my heart.  When language and words can be used to reach great heights, there are many people who simply want to use them to hurt.  There is nothing clever, insightful or humourous about wanting to break someone.  And as some of these women point out - what does this say about society as a whole?   'The haters gunna hate' line is true.  But I guess this is a timely reminder for us all to look after ourselves and try as much as we can to surround ourselves with things that nourish, support and inspire us.  Keep our friends close, and do our best to block the drainers and haters.  If you've every felt bullied you'll know how hard this can be.  I guess I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to those people who do make me think, make me laugh and make me learn.  And those that make language sing.

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