CT: The Language Theory

Hello there dear readers!

Well, it's happened already- my post is late. While I'd like to blame Little C (her post was a day late, which confused my brain about what day it was, etc), the truth is that yesterday afternoon I took the world's snuggliest nap with Ron Weasley (the cat, you weirdos, not Rupert Grint) instead of writing my post and then forgot all about it until we were at a movie at 11pm. What can you do?
RW naps like it's an Olympic sport...

So per Little C's post this week, the rule is that because I'm a day late, she got to assign me a word that I have to work into my post today five times. She chose turgid. This game is going to actually be a lot of fun, because like Little, I'm kind of a vocabulary nerd. We're writers, after all, so we naturally like words. Personally I like etymology, or the origin of a word. I like breaking words down to see why they mean what they mean, and where they came from. I can hear Little C snoring already, so I'll keep this one quick.

Turgid: Swollen, distended, congested beyond its natural state. Or, when used about language, tediously pompous. Origin is Latin (turgere means to swell), and the word stems from the early 17th century.

This actually all fits in with what I wanted to write about today anyways. I have this theory that I thought I'd share, and it comes down to language, and how turgid language in anything breaks down that communication. I believe that everything is a language in one form or another. Math and science and sports and filmmaking and literally everything else. Language is a set of rules that govern communication, and all of these things have a set of rules that they use to communicate.

In football, the quarterback will call a play before moving in a specific way to pass or hand off the ball. His receivers/running backs read his movements to see where the ball will be, and the defense is reading the entire offensive team to try and stop the play. If the quarterback's physical language is turgid, if he moves unnecessarily or hesitates when he's calling the play, his team won't know where to be and when and he stands a huge chance of getting sacked.
That never happens to Denver. We're perfect in every way. 

The same thing applies to filmmaking. Where you put the camera, how things move in the frame, how you edit scenes together all communicates to your audience, beyond what the actors are physically saying. If it's done well, your audience will sometimes experience emotions that they don't even name. Stanley Kubrick was the master of making an audience feel claustrophobic through his film language, without ever having an actor talk about it. The opposite (and turgid) example here is a film that came out this year called Aloft (starring Jennifer Connoly and Cillian Murphy). It was a beautiful film, but the film language was so ostentatious and pretentious that it kept the audience from feeling any emotions from the characters.

I think the same thing can be said about a lot of big budget, Michael Bay-esque action movies. They're not turgid in the linguistic sense where they're pompous, but they're turgid in a physical way. Visually they're so swollen with things flying around or exploding that you can't get any meaning from them.
The meaning is that truck driver is wishing he'd taken the side streets to work today. 

I think the same idea applies to almost anything. You have to learn the language of anything you're doing, whether it's chemistry or ultimate frisbee. That way, you can communicate clearly. Alright, that's enough nerding for a Saturday. Time to go watch some football.

Happy Weekend!


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