Wow! Lately things have been a bit crazy for my mind. Or maybe it’s like this all the time. 😊
All the cylinders are firing at once as I’ve been working on multiple things.
New residence Ideas. New ways to combat health issues. New ideas for travel destinations. A “Castle of Memories” and sorting through many of those memories in picture form. Deep Introspection.
So many things I want to write about. It’s left me in a state of confusion, and a sort of passive paralysis.
In the background of all this mental masturbation are the insane politics the US is going through, and the needless, self-generated, social unrest.
You can empathically feel the tension. The anger. And it is all so unnecessary.
It’s just a little hard to concentrate right now.
So I think I’ll just make a few comments today about the “devolution” of communication.
That’s right, the devolution. Nicely represented by the “Tower” card in the Tarot.
Now I’m not advocating that everyone needs to go find a Tarot deck and start performing divinations. I merely like the symbolism and there is a lot of symbolism in Tarot cards. Depending on the origins of the deck, there may be many different meanings. And many incredibly beautiful artistic depictions for this symbolism.
One common theme to the Sixteenth Major Arcana (Mysteries) Card is destruction. It’s been said that this card, and its imagery, refer to the Tower of Babylon and what biblical scholars call an origination myth explaining why the various peoples of the Earth speak different languages.
That story refers to the time following the Great Flood, where people came together, all speaking the same language so there was mutual understanding, and they set out to build a Tower to reach the heavens and God.
God apparently didn’t like this idea.
I supposed it was interpreted as humans being competitive with God. I’m not really sure how Gods think, but somehow I doubt omnipotent beings evidence the human characteristics of fear, jealousy, anger or competition. Nevertheless . . .
So, God destroyed the Tower, scattered the people across the Earth, leaving them all to speak in different tongues creating ambiguity and disrupting communication so no universal agreement to attempt to reach the heavens would ever happen again.
As with many creation or origination myths, there are comparable stories throughout many cultures including: the Sumerians, Assyrians, Toltecs, Tohono O’odham, Cherokee, Nepalese, and the South Africans.
Now the Thoth Tarot not only references the Tower of Babylon, but warns of megalomania. The Tower could be a Watchtower offering “a wide view, power and security.” Or it could be a personal ivory Tower, filled with pride and isolation. Or it could even represent life in captivity.
And I can see a whole range of analogies here to different personalities clogging our airwaves with scripted BS at this present moment, but I’ll just let all of that go. 😊
As you can see, the cards contain what is said to be a direct message, and the reverse or opposite message. Another example of this is the Dove, included on my card, that can symbolize love and wisdom, while its reverse is hysteria and deafness.
We have a lot of deafness going around right now. As well as a lot of distraction.
While it’s fun to consider the ancient parables and the symbolism, in modern society we seem to intentionally create this type of ambiguation. No God required. And there, I just used a big word unnecessarily (ambiguation), but I think you get the idea.
This devolution is not simply a matter a regional dialect, but involves word substitution; the reduction of words to initials – some phonetic, others not-so-much; and the throwing in of a bunch of emojis just for fun. Social media contributed to this decline, especially Twitter and its character limitation. If you can’t convey your message with a tiny number of characters, well forget it then, you just have too many words to read.
Short attention spans and simple laziness perpetuates the continued destruction of language and creates more and more barriers to communication as people are left to fill in the blanks and will often default to a negative interpretation when there is no clear explanation.
We’re not mind readers and we can’t assume others will understand us when we’re not speaking in the same tongues.
Of course, some of this is generational and was designed to mask communications – creating a secret code when we wanted to fool our parents or law enforcement about our planned digressions. All of the nicknames for drugs is a classic example. We used to call LSD a two-dollar vacation. 🙂
Ok, ok, finally, after all of that intro, here’s a modern day example.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have to go look stuff like this up. “GMN” was a response I received on Twitter once in reference to a blog post of mine. And the person leaving this response wanted to emphasize it, so it was in all caps and repeated multiple times.
I’m pretty sure the person only read the title of my post, because had they had enough attention span to actually read the post in its entirety, I doubt they would have been upset at all.
If you haven’t looked it up yet, GMN means “Grab my nuts.”
And, I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for a literal interpretation of this, which makes the comment all the sillier. If they had intended for it to be an insult, sorry, I just LOL. 😊
We have such things as IDKR, BTW, ATTWACTION, B4, BFN or TTFN, FFS, AYKM, YSBH, CRE8, F2F, OMG, FTL, FOMO, FYFI, IC, IDK, TBH, TBT, OH, IDC, FTW, ROFL, BFD, STFU, RME, HS, SMH, ICYMI, GTFO, WTF, LMK, and NVM. (Many of these are swear words.)
And my personal favorite TL;DR = too long; didn’t read. This reminds me of some folks I used to work with who detested reading my legal analyses. There were just “too many words.” Of course, without those words you can never understand how you get from A to Z, but I think those folks preferred comic books. More space with lots of color pictures. Nothing requiring any thought or analysis.
Many of us have adapted and know many of these abbreviations, and while math is a symbolic language, you really can’t convey much of the essence of science or law with abbreviated symbols. And what of literature?
Can you imagine an entire novel written in three- and four-character language?
I’ve always said communication is tough on a good day.
Miscommunication can cost friendships. Miscommunications can, like a knife, cause injuries. Miscommunications have even led to war.
So, I’ll leave you all with a couple of quotes to contemplate.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
“Communication Is Power. Those who have mastered its effective use can change their own experience of the world and the world’s experience of them. All behavior and feelings find their original roots in some form of communication.” Tony Robbins
Photo: A Southwestern monsoon rain distorts the view and our perception through the glass window. Looking through that window and the distortion, can we all see or experience the same thing in the same way? Are there words clear enough to adequately convey the scene without using the pic? Without at least a little description, would you be able to decipher what the pic captured? Thus the perils of attempted communication.
For another fun post on words and communication see: Debabelization – Our Webs of Words