Google thinks they own the Alphabet. Just look at how language is used on the Internet. Maybe it’s time that we take it back?
Google thinks they created the alphabet. Huh? I have an email that tells the story of how Google created the alphabet. It stunned me for a moment, “I thought that God created the alphabet?” No, little boy, God did not create the alphabet…
Won’t You Come and Play With Me?
After a little research, I found that the alphabet was created by the Latino dancers a little before the 8 Century BCE. The Greeks got involved and later a few other cultures took their turns at doing the DJ-Word thing. The French think they own the alphabet, because they say it better than the rest of us… but that’s for a different day. Our current alphabet was made popular in 1835 by Charles Bradlee. He created the mind-numbing Alphabet Song, 26 letters that spell “Torture.”
Alphabet = Alpha + Bet
Alphabet is actually a compound word: Alpha and Bet. Alpha means the first letter of the Greek lettering system. Bet means placing a wager or risk. Here is the equation:
Alphabet letters + Wager = Words are a fun way to risk making sense, making a scene or making things blow up. Word.
I didn’t realize that the foundation of our English communication is based on a wager. Every time you speak, you take a risk because words are a gamble. Speaking our minds can result in foot-in-mouth, foot-on-butt or every once in a while, a foot up.
Words Are a Creative Risk
Many of us have a bad case of Infobesity and we are at risk of ignoring the words that help us make sense out of our lives. Words are not simply the exchange of information, words are life itself.
Seeing words changed the world.
In 1450 the Gutenberg Printing Press was developed and that one invention became a spark that lit the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Scientific revolution; it laid the foundation for our modern knowledge-based economy and spread learning to the masses.
God may not have invented the alphabet, but he knew a good thing when he saw it. When he sent Jesus into the ring, he sent him as Word: a creative risk, speaking and giving life.
Words feed our soul. We can go a few days without water, a few weeks without food. But how long can we go without words? I’m not just talking about books… I’m asking, how long can you or I go without thinking in words, speaking in words or writing words? Not even seconds.
Words nourish, they give meaning, they are a bridge that connect us. And words can be a weapon. Our writing, our speaking, our thinking can create or destroy. Words inspire or they can set on fire.
Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.
Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.
Google may have created a company named Alphabet, but they don’t own our words. Microsoft may have invented Word, but only you and I are own our words. Words are free, they can keep us free, but using them in a life-giving way costs you and I.
Make your words count, take a creative risk. Give life to yourself and to those you meet. You never know how your words may become a Gutenberg moment.
Keep it Real
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Photo by Kennie Louie