14 June 2005

Making Language

In our home, we speak a language entirely our own. No, I don't mean we have little code words that mean it's time for dinner, although, we have those words at work: "guido call" means "collections." No, our language is gibberish.

Pow now chick a tow now
Foot chis a la teeko
Flarfle footle needle

My older son, Gavyne, proposed we develop an actual language. I denied his request on two grounds. First, I'm too lazy to sit down to formalize the gibber-jabber and learn all the rules we develop. Second, I use the language as a rejection of the formalized version I speak everyday: English.

I used Gavyne's proposal as a window to address the existentialist view of language as death, each word boxed so as to limit its possibilities. Our gibber has a sound distinct from any other. Only the constant exposure to Stichese allows an outsider to learn its flow and phonology. We know what the language sounds like, and we remarkably understand what we're trying to say...just as long as we stick to the basics like "Get me a roll of toilet paper," and "Geez kid, you stink. Take a shower."


Anonymous said...

That's great (lol). Actually, if you think about it, every family probably has their own distint phrases which form a personal dialect. My favorite part of this post is that you have actually named it Stichese (which is remarkably fun to say).


Luke Skywalker said...

Tin cow!