Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Silent But International Language Nobody Talks About

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A sample of the silent but international language.
The unpublishable words have been digitally erased in the photo.
Photo (Toronto: March 1, 2009) © Jerome D'Costa

I had opportunities for visiting about two dozen countries in five continents in my life. During these visits, besides English and local languages, I came across a silent but universal language that is both written and graphic in nature. It's a kind of smutty language -- a cross between the gutter language and unpublishable graphics, which cannot be used in the public. It's found on some walls, tree barks, and washrooms of institutions, offices, train or bus stations, sea-going ferries and even, on rare occasions, planes!

When Languages Facing Extinction, It's Thriving

Some languages are vanishing from the world, but this particular language is increasingly visible. It pervades all countries and cultures. It is universal in the sense that it is there everywhere and is understood by all, at least by the graphics, accompanying the written texts!

Why This Language?

The purveyors of this language apparently seem to be desperate ones! In their solitary moments they have an urge to express themselves -- their intimate thoughts and emotions that come from the depth of their hearts. They want that their expressions are seen by others and get a kick out of it, so to say! They play a hide-and-seek with the viewers.

This language is interactive, too. Some viewers also seem to feel compelled to leave their comments and their own creative handiwork beside the original expressions.

Whether we like it or not, it's there. When we are thinking of our languages on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, just for the sake of the record, we may mention of this silent but international language! Bookmark and Share