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Speechless but Full of Words

Owl's picture

As I was reading both Smith's and Cliff's writings, I was struck by two statements: "'The word, the word above all, is truly magical, not only by its meaning, but by its artful manipulation"' (Smith Intro) and "When I began... to approach myself as a subject, my writing was jagged, nonlinear, almost shorthand"' (Cliff p31), I couldn't help but think of language as a tool that one has to learn how to use. So often do we see people that do not have the opportunities afforded to them to learn how to manipulate language that they get lost in translation. So often do I hear of people, including myself, feeling as though we have so much to say, but do not know how to say it. I find myself asking, what causes this disconnect? If I am answering this question for myself, I would say that my inability to treat language  as something that can be manipulated as opposed to something that manipulates me, has to do with the insecurities imposed on me by my race, gender, culture, ethnicity and ideology. Despite having the education that I have had I continue to be hindered, and I fear that such feeling will always linger.