Towards a Better Living Reality Through Language

All human verbal language is mental programming. When you type, write, or speak, you are causing your audience to make a copy of the message in their own minds. Some minds are more open than others to linguistic programming; others have more Byzantine spam blockers, anti-virus scanners, and password-protected firewalls. But those very security measures too are mere languages, just slightly more sophisticated. If you speak those languages and understand their contours, you can navigate or bypass them, write new programs, and rewrite existing programs.

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My Writing Influences

A selection.

My mother, bon vivant and grammarian. She reveled in beauty and words — the sound of them, their subtle meanings. She had a larger working vocabulary than most people I knew while growing up, and her enunciation was informed by her long-ago training as an opera singer. When she spoke, the words came out of her mouth clear, distinct, richly formed. “Ain’t” was not allowed in our house. My mother made a point of making me aware of the English language, treated it as something precious, a treasure trove of intellectual and emotional expression. Her journals, many now lost or at least missing, are filled with poetic musings, diary entries, shopping lists, reviews of radio shows, consternation about her personal relationships, and whatever else might have come to her mind each morning, a cigarette in her left hand, a pen in her right, and a cup of coffee cooling on the dining room table. Her example led me to start journaling by the time I was 10.

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