Language matters—probably more than you imagine. Language is the thing that makes us different from animals. It is also what makes it possible to think. Scientists are now demonstrating this, but the Greeks understood this thousands of years ago: the Greek word logos means both “word” and “reason.” We get our word logic from this root. With no words, there is no thought.
But words are more than that. They are our history and our heritage. They create our societies. Without knowing our language, we lose who we are.
If you don’t know Frank Deford, you probably don’t listen to NPR. Deford is NPR’s sports guy, but Deford is sports with a difference. The sports industry is populated by, and let’s be real here, more than its fair share of nyuk-nyuks and chowderheads. Deford brings a much needed level of class and intelligence to the whole thing. GQ called him “the world’s greatest sports writer.” No argument here.
That’s why I was practically standing on my leather couch this morning cheering to hear Frank Deford decrying the sorry, lazy state of reportage in sports. He did it as an aside, but the message is clear. The communicators don’t communicate very well. Exhibit A:
“Have you ever noticed how most people say Brett Favre’s name in its entirety? He is usually referred to as not Brett, not Favre, but Brett Favre.” Deford wrote this in the November 11 edition of his NPR sports column, Sweetness and Light.
“This is nice at this dreadful time when most modern athletes are known by their initials or their number. Most times now, athletes say things like, “23 threw it to R.K., and then J-Broom scored.” Continue reading Frank Deford on Language→
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