The words we use

We fret about words, we writers. Words mean. Words point. They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. And the more portentous, more general the word, the more they also resemble rooms or tunnels. They can expand, or cave in. They can come to be filled with a bad smell. They will often remind us of other rooms, where we’d rather dwell or where we think we are already living. They can be spaces we lose the art or the wisdom of inhabiting. And eventually those volumes of mental intention we no longer know how to inhabit will be abandoned, boarded up, closed down.

Susan Sontag at Brain Pickings

We speakers carry a heavy responsibility. Sontag was on my list of writers to pay attention to this year, but the election got in the way. Sounds like I’d better get around to her this year.

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