Thursday, April 12, 2012


There is no particular order to things.
     The one real value that exists is honesty.
     We can certainly hope for and respect honest people but one’s language, especially as it is forced onto a wad of parchment using a quill pen if you get my drift does not contain words that fall or creep into any kind of established order. That doesn't exist; there is no established honesty in words, in other words; and, there is not a regular, established order to things in general: and, therefore, none to words.
     But we watch each other. We watch one another, all right. We observe. And it is true that we want to observe that we are speaking honestly. That's a big value! We speak honestly, while others observe that. So, we do, I suppose, always look for the kind of behavior we want to see. And people conform to group behaviors, a lot. They do this for one another. Because, as I have already stated, we are watching each other. There should be social integrity and trust. This is a social, moral value. This is a value to live by. But it isn't an absolute. And neither is language, and an absolute ordering to things cannot be found there. There is simply no one, final absolute.
     There is nothing about language that lends itself to that kind of order. Language does not have any particular order. Someone who wants to argue the point might say, "words are ordered by a little thing called 'grammar,' buddy." Well, yes they are "ordered" that way. Words are loosely corralled by grammar.  ----- oh yes that is true. That is there for understanding one another. There need to be precise meanings. So, we do need to speak in grammatical form, for understanding one another. But understanding specific messages communicated by use of language does not mean that there is one way of organizing words or that there is a particular order to things. Whether we think we are understanding one another or not, there is a lot more to it than language. Also this ordering function of grammar does not change the fact that words are deceptive, subject to dissimulation, and so forth.
     Therefore, when we say "honest speech," we are not referring to a specific place where this honesty is found. There is no one "honest order." You cannot find it. We have a way of speaking by which we point to a speaker and we say that he spoke "honestly.” What do we mean by "honest speech?" You cannot find it. It is there somewhere, but we cannot find it. What we mean is probably something like: this is an honest person. It is not really his words per se therefore. It is no that his words per se are more honest ones. We are speaking about a person (to the effect) that he or she is honest, not that his or her words have some particular arrangement and not another. (And the counter-examples - and even I myself could think of a few - prove my point.) Persons of course speak. This particular person's words reflect or flow out from that honesty, and her words do not conceal or distort that honesty that is so commendable. but how do we find honesty? How do we find words?
     The language that comes out of the person is an example of "honest speech," which is the natural outflow of an honest nature. Certainly his or her honest nature can be sometimes reflected off of the person's tongue. The words themselves are not honest. Therefore, the thing that cannot be captured in words is honesty. The honesty that is present does not come from the words, any more than come from the throat. What we are talking about as the component units of language must have a name. I am not a trained linguist so I do not know how they designate the discrete or tangible components involved in language, but they have to be called something like semiotic units, or morphemes, or something. Words. They are just words.

     What can we say about them? Nothing so you can stop looking for honest words. Look for honest persons instead.

(note: changes by J. S. 2012/05/15 March 15 )

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