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Letters and words

It never fails to fascinate me how powerful words are. How a little letter, such as an "x" can change the whole meaning of the words and punctuation prior to it. Even now, you're reading these words and they're doing stuff to your mind; sometimes we read things that change us, that stick with us. Something a person (be they fictional or real, no matter) said long ago or recently can stick with us for life.

I read a lot and, though my mind is getting better at it, quotes don't stay with me for that long but one particular day I was rather sad and I was reading Dear Mr Potter (compiled & edited by the wonderful Lily Zalon) and someone quoted Dumbledore. The quote was "it does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live." Perhaps it was the alliteration in this quote that made it stick with me, or maybe it was the significance it has to the situation I was in then... but it's stuck. It pops into my head when I find myself wallowing and wanting things that I perhaps cannot have - I, like Dumbledore advises against, forget to live. I don't look around me and appreciate what I've got, I don't stay as calm as I should and I am sometimes over dramatic and emotional. These words give me comfort and remind me to live my life and not live, purely, in the land of the could-have-should-have-would-have.

Words hold so much more than the meaning behind them; they encapsulate memories, feelings, symbols. Something that someone has written can show us so much about them and the way they're feeling, if they choose to show that in there writing (though sometimes we cannot help but subconsciously allude to our own lives). It provides something concrete and separate from ourselves and that shows so much about us; I guess that's why diary writing is so appealing - we tend to forget things and how we felt and the words we wrote down at that time remind us.

When we, for example, text we follow social conventions: emoticons, a lack of punctuation (some of us, anyway), bad grammar (again, some of us) and the whole fandango about "x"s. We put kisses on texts for a reason... everyone seems to have their 'standard' kisses which they tend to hand out without thinking. But we, being totally over-analysing, interpret a text completely differently when the number of "x"s are reduced. Something as simple as one fewer letter makes the whole dynamic of what the person is saying change. It seems trivial, but in other contexts, the lack of a comma or letter does exactly the same - except it's different somehow. Some people take the "x" thing very seriously, others don't. We don't seem to have an 'accepted' rule on it, which makes things very confusing and complicated when it comes to interpretation.

Although this much is true about texting and the social convention (and confusion) of adding "x"s to text, this is pretty much the same with every piece of writing, we all interpret letters, words differently... that's what makes it so great though, words would not hold that power otherwise. The next time you get flustered over the amount of kisses someone is sending you stop, think and appreciate it. This flustering and confusion is what makes words so fantastic.

Keep smiling and DFTBA.


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