Confounded Language

Blog 2512 – 09.11.2022

Confounded Language

One of the most obvious myths recorded in the Bible (and I happen to believe there are many of them) has to do with what is the origin of so many different languages in the world. The story goes that after Noah’s Flood (itself, one of those tall tales told around campfires long before Moses included his Hebrew version in is first book, Genesis) mankind was afraid that God might drown the world again so they united in a plan to be prepared for such an event by building a tower to reach into the sky, high above the deepest flood waters. Some think the we’re trying to build a tower to heaven, it was more about being self-insured against rain and flood damage. In the story God is not pleased with mankind working together and so he confounds their words so they can no longer understand one another. The co-op’s building program is stopped and the workers divide into many little groups, each going off to do their own thing having a different take and different languages to unify their separate groups.

That brings us to the confounded language we use today and I am not just referring to the examples of English words with more than one meaning in the magazine article above. Those are the humorous ones the religious and political ones are not quite so funny. “Law and order” is a phrase always thrown around in an election year and on the surface sounds like an appeal to the rule of law, but to an ever growing part of the population it has come to stand for laws put in place or proposed to perpetuate racial, religious, gender, and economic discrimination.

Some years ago, before my beloved daughter Emily passed away, on one of her famous Father’s Day mixed CDs she included the song All For The Best. In quite a jumble of confounding words in that song, behind the humor, if you listen you can heard the plight, the struggle, the plea of the others, those left behind, those deemed less than the best, the rest of us. We The People was intended to represent more than just a few privileged old white guys and until it does the Revolution nor the Civil War will ever be over, neither in this country nor around the world.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

Godspell – All For The Best ( Lyrics )

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