We cannot think outside of language. Words drive life– they record it, they propel it with persuasion and instigation. The ability to use language effectively can’t be overstated: compelling language allows people to create identities, relationships, and memories. Thoughtful communication enables businesses to form successful brands and reach the right customers.
But language is not static — it is shaped by the mediums that capture and filter it. Unlike many, I don’t believe that the barrage of available media that exist today is threatening the written word. I don’t think that the Kindle is ruining literature or that Twitter is destroying the sentence. Of course, language–and the way we use it– is changing, but not for the worse (or the better). What’s important is not the number of characters in our messages or the number of clicks on our content, but that we continue to view language as an ever-changing vehicle, one that we must approach with curiosity and critical thinking. And when we think about language critically, we think about the world critically.
My obsession with language has shaped my education and career. I’m now a marketing professional and freelance writer living outside of Washington DC, but I started as an undergraduate student in English at the University of Virginia, later earned my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Utah, and have had a variety of gigs in between. Say hi on twitter, @rikki_rogers.