It’s Only Words

“It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away.”

The Bee Gees

I have noticed something very interesting as I talk and write and interact in the social media space lately. 

I have made some new friends on Twitter and Facebook, many of whom live in countries far from the United States and speak languages that I am not fluent in. Most all of them speak very good English, so we have no problem communicating at all. We are also using the medium of pictures in one FB group, a universal language of beauty that almost everyone understands with very little prompting or coaching. 

Although I do not speak French or Italian (well, I still understand a little in that I lived near Rome for two years in the 1970s), am not fluent in Portuguese, cannot read Spanish even after my obligatory two years of high school exposure to it, and default to my native tongue, I have seen something fun happen. 

I will use small snippets of language, one or two words, one phrase here and there, to respond to my new friends. They do the same to me. We feel our way through conversations and micro-exchanges one small phrase at a time, and it is quite lovely. 

I know I have misused many a word in another language. That is part of the territory. 

The other thing that comes from that is that my new friends are so embracing and inclusive that they never laugh or correct or cajole or belittle. 

Language is a vehicle. It allows us to share, to laugh, to compliment, and even to love.

The Bee Gees were right.

 

Gracias.

Grazie.

Merci. 

Obrigado.

Thank you.

Thank you, my friends, for enriching my life beyond measure.

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6 thoughts on “It’s Only Words

  1. I’m so touched by this kind post that I am physically speechless (believe me, you’ve achieved SOMETHING here).
    I’m afraid that I sometimes look ironic or sarcastic in my feeble attempts to write something funny in English.
    But wow, now I don’t try to pretend or play; all I could say after having read your post was: “Oh” and smile.

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  2. Call it serendipity, Greg.
    You ran into a pack of worldwide dwellers who were initially brought together by their love of language (“working” at a well-known forum). As friendships grew we discovered we all shared a passion for learning and had inquisitive minds, and thus we began exchanging glimpses into our respective locales and kept welcoming more friends to the ranks– thanks to Jennie W’s exceptional ideal for our photo group.
    Having the chance to interact–and laugh, cry, ponder, joke–with people of different backgrounds and cultures has proven to be a very enriching experience. So allow me to say thank you for your personal contribution to this expanding microcosm. Welcome aboard! 🙂

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  3. Laura

    Thank you very much. Thanks to Knot for inviting me to take part. I have greatly enjoyed it.

    It’s a wonderful group of people, and the multicultural aspects of the interactions are the icing on the cake.

    Greg

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