Rules of Language

I know it’s been a while since I shared any of the thoughts that scream to escape my head, to paper. I found peace by writing using pen and paper rather than tapping on a screen or a keyboard even though both are used as a mean to form what’s into my head into a human readable set of characters known as letters arranged in certain ways. Rules everywhere, even if I wanted to morph the screeching thoughts into words, I would have to follow rules. Unfortunately, this form of arranged letters wouldn’t be understood yet remain readable. Rules exist to create a middle ground and serve as a standard. We are all taught these standards so we can easily communicate.

Does this mean I still have to obey the rules of language for others to understand? No. We can still communicate without a language. And I’m not talking about sign language because even that is subject to a set of rules. have you guessed what I’m thinking of? we were born with it. we learn it from those around us usually by observation especially when we were little kids and would imitate our parents or older siblings. Now you would wonder if this natural body language is subject to rules like alphabetic and signal languages. If you look at it as such, you’re right. If you don’t, you’re right as well. You would still wonder how come? How can I still be right either way? It’s harder than what you think it is, yet easier than what you thought it would be.

These rules can be classified under several categories. Social rules, for example, tell us what should and what shouldn’t be done. While the scope of what is acceptable and what’s not can be broad or narrow depending of the values and probably traditions of the society we are brought up in. This very scope can be be subject to conflict between the society we belong to and the society we grow up in given that both are different. Like being an Arab living in the West for instance. Some people choose to abide by and follow some or all rules implied by either or both societies, regardless of the conflict between the two, simply because that’s how it’s supposed to be, in their opinion. On the contrary, others might choose to find or rather create a middle ground for themselves where common Do’s and Don’ts exist and are to be acted upon accordingly. The rest, on the other hand, would decide that this is a complicated matter and that they can’t or don’t see the possibility of the foundation of a grey area but rather see things in white and black and spend -or waste- a lot of time trying to decide what to choose as a result of conflict between the rules of the society they come from and that of where they grew up and reach a conclusion of not choosing anything and simply “follow your instinct”.

It’s important to not forget that there are people who grew up in the society they come from yet choose not to abide by any of the rules imposed by the society. We are born free after all but freedom isn’t practiced as it should be and as of why, elucidating could last for years but that’s for you to think about.

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About Nader Elkhuzundar

Nader Elkhuzundar is a commentator on Palestinian affairs and Co-founder of Beyond Compromise (www.beyondcompromise.com). Elkhuzundar occasionally freelances for The Guardian, International Business Times, and others. He's a social media enthusiast and tech savvy with particular interest in new technologies and analytics, and enjoys reading over Arabic coffee and dark chocolate.
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One Response to Rules of Language

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