Language is vital to thought since thinking takes the form of a mental dialogue and this dialogue is in language. If to think is to communicate with yourself then the precision and honesty of that communication creates the quality of a person’s mind. The ability to form concepts and articulate them in words will determine a person’s ability to think about things. It’s this precision which suffers when language degrades.
Consider how often we see, although more people are writing now than ever before, that “ word’s cant express…” such and such or “ I’m speechless,” about so and so, etc. Or the other ubiquitous stratagem; the practice of modifying a positive attribute in terms of a negative one, such as “Insanely Great”, “Earth Shatteringly Bold” etc. These abuses point to an unfortunate dilution of meaning caused by the long slow degradation of language that the culture has accepted. We say more but express less, because we fully comprehend less.
So it’s nice when something comes along and reinvigorates your love of language and confidence in its power. Consider Bod Dylan’s Nobel Acceptance speech. Mr. Dylan squeaked in just under the deadline necessary for him to receive the prize money and submitted the address via and audio recording uploaded to youtube. It’s the first Nobel Acceptance speech in many years that’s good enough to cross over into the realm of popular consciousness, at least for a little while. It demonstrates the prize, the first awarded to a popular songwriter, was well deserved and that the recipient is one of the living treasures of global culture.