Thursday, September 02, 2010
Any search engine will come up with a multitude of sites for inspirational quotes some of which are subscription based, so it appears that there is certainly a market for keeping us human beings inspired with words. But what is it about language that we find inspiring?
The poet is perhaps the master of inspiring language and as many poets will tell us, language is the ultimate power, influencing our perceptions and amending opinions, which is something politicians and the media also understand very well! Language for them is a palette, a keyboard, a block of marble, a medium from which they can create. Words are not therefore neutral, but have intentions, associations, connections. Rhythm, meter, use of metaphor etc are a powerful means to expression and to creating meaning for the reader. Our ordinary day to day language could be viewed as a stunted, stripped down and abbreviated shadow of what poetry could achieve. So when we read short quotes using extra-ordinary language, it is the difference to our everyday speech that is compelling and engaging for us and the association in our memories which makes it meaningful.
And because we all have different histories and memories we will find different quotes thought provoking, motivational and personal to us – for all sorts of different reasons. I do however struggle with some of the “inspirational” quotes my facebook friends had selected as their favourites such as Homer Simpson’s “You tried, you failed, so the lesson is, stop trying”. But I did particularly like another take on failure from the basketball player Michael Jordan “I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”.
What's your favorite quote?
Posted by Editor at 4:01 pm