Language is a lousy way to express emotion

I’m serious. Language is a lousy way to express emotion.

So much of expressing emotion is nuance: the tilt of the head (or raising an eyebrow, if you’re that fancy), a knowing glance, a comfortable silence.

We are, in many cases forced to express emotion verbally; using clumsy language, consisting of words.

It’s insane of us humans to think that we can express such deep feelings in such a crude way. I am starting to think of it as trying to hone crystal with river rock.

Granted, we are not all similarly afflicted: poets have managed to instill emotion using only words. That said, do you think there are a number of first-draft poets out there? Of course, poets draw on the collective consciousness and baseline knowledge of how people feel when describing a situation.

Musicians? Maybe.

Screenwriters? Not applicable. They have images and music and story-leading-up-to-the-moment.

Playwrights? See ‘screenwriters’, above, sans the music.

You get my drift. Disagree, if you must: I’m feeling frisky lately (it’s Spring!) and I’m ready for a debate.

Original Post: September 28, 2006

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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