PAGE IN PROGRESS What you see here is a page of my hypertext book POWER of meanings // MEANINGS of power. Initially empty, this page will slowly be filled with thoughts, notes, and quotes. One day, I will use them to write a coherent entry, similar to these completed pages. See this post to better understand my creative process. Thank you for your interest and patience! :)
Barthes "Death of the Author"
Separate discussion: power of language, language of power, words can hurt, changing language to make society a better place (inclusivity, debates about political correctness)
Language has power over us because we cannot choose to say whatever we want. If we want to talk about something really complicated, we often struggle to express ourselves. Words and their combinations just don't capture what we are trying to say. When we read scholars who use very complex language, we sometimes (often?) blame them for not having anything substantial to say. As one person I know used to say (I am paraphrasing): "If you cannot express your thoughts clearly, perhaps you don't really have any thoughts worth expressing". But there might be another explanation: language is a very crude tool that we use to understand the world and ourselves. We have created this tool the way it is because of our limited abilities as human beings, of our limited power. And now we find ourselves at the mercy of this tool (but really, at the mercy of or affected by our own limitations) as we are trying to do what language was meant to accomplish.