Do words define who we are?

The prose states, “Composition believes that writing is not simply one way of knowing; it is the way.” The author finds this to be a narrow definition, which is definitely the case in our class as well. Mainly, the author focuses on visual learners as the exception, but as explored in our class, knowing can be auditory too as experienced in the Monotony photo narrative with the obnoxious dial tone of the phone. Powerful messages can be sent among people without using words. On top of that, there is debate whether the mind works using verbal constructs alone, or perhaps it’s better described as a “strong visual imaging” machine. For example with the dyslexic teacher, he described completing tasks more as visualizing the next steps as opposed to having an internal dialogue. The primacy of language follows along these same arguments in that it defines language in a cookie-cutter fashion as verbal constructs. The author points out that alternate representational systems not only exist, but can be even more powerful that the classical view of language as verbal. Many geniuses throughout history have notoriously been poor communicators, but their visual interpretation of scenarios is so strong that they can see and understand something long before they can express it in words. Classical composition tends to employ the simplistic logic that:

Language defines humans

Words make up language

Words define humans

This logic is faulty in several regards. Firstly, language is multidimensional as described above. Secondly, Language is one factor that defines humans, but not everything can be simply communicated through language. Feelings, intuition, and the subconscious are all contributing factors to what makes us unique. Words are merely a vehicle to convey the type and intensity of these factors, but the feeling that “it made sense in my head” will always exist to some degree.

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