Sunday, September 16, 2007


The Gift of Language

Genesis 2.19-20:
And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field.
Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), p. 72:
And of all God's gifts, the best one is language—the power to name and proclaim and identify, to fashion from the noisy void our lexicons for birds of the air, fishes in the seas, what grows in the greensward; and for contempt and affection, pleasure and pain, beauty and order and their absences.

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