New Language for a New World

Shakespeare invented or repurposed anywhere between 1700 and 300 words.

My mentor Bucky Fuller created words..like synergy, syntropy, tensegrity, ephemeralisation, pattern integrity. He determined that he would prefer to be NOT understood than misunderstood. He used words with the precision of a brain surgeon and often wrote a sentence that was a large paragraph long. He combined this almost impossible syntax with a childish delight that was transmitted in all of his public talks.

Marketing says we need to speak in a language understood by a 10-year-old. 

I have always shunned that idea. It dumbs everyone down to a common denominator and in the process strips out nuance and accuracy. A reductionist response rather than the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

At the same time, words should not be impediments to access. Rather invitations to exploration.

In an education system that shames failure, new words, large or small, might create fear in someone…for not understanding might imply a lack of intelligence or knowledge.

Words, when given poetic, graphic, illustrated or film context, can seize us to the imagination of whole new worlds. 

If we want a world with a future we need new language. We might also consider how we contextualise that language that invites curiosity, exploration and the unleashing of our gorgeous imagination. 

The partnering of those with design and storytelling skills in multiple mediums is critical. Not to dumb down but to lift up and inspire the future we hold as possible for Earth and all her creatures.

New words then become art. 

Photo taken May 10th 2021

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