Language Is A Virus


A written work, whether it is a story, a poem or a song, can be as vague
and indeterminable as a painting and given to many different interpretations. It
gives an opportunity for the reader to use his imagination and his emotions in
absorbing the writing and comprehending its meaning.

The interpretation of written work varies with circumstances, such as
different cultures, religions, historical times or just personal feelings.

Folk tales and legends are stories that have been passed throughout
generations and are being told in many parts of the world in different languages.
These stories, originally written as local tales, pass the boundaries of their
localities and become absorbed into the folklore of other religions and
countries through publication in other languages. In many cases they are being
altered to suit the tastes, customs and modes of behavior of the population to
which the readers belong. In other instances the written works are absorbed in
different localities, in their original forms, but even then their meaning
varies in accordance with the cultural, religious and economical conditions of
the country as a whole and of the reader as an individual.

Obviously, a written work is a product of the period in which it is written.
Unless it is a historical tale, the subjects, characters and events described,
would be of a temporary nature or have a temporary outlook and appeal. Many
writings are of a controversial nature and as such they appeal to some but can
meet with a violent disapproval by others. Salman Rashdie has been lucky to
survive the violent anger of the Muslim world. But at the same time he became
popular with many segments of the population, not necessarily due to the
greatness of his writing, but primarily because of the controversial subject he
touches upon, the fact that he criticizes his own and that his criticism
appeals to a non Muslim reader.

Language is like a virus. It spreads through different media, but primarily
through writing. Depending on the subject and the quality, it can spread widely,
become a chronic illness (in a positive as well as a negative way) or disappear
completely. It is a virus which attacks a reader as well as a writter. It should
not be treated by different remedies, but it should also not be left alone. If
good, it should be cherished, if bad it should be exterminated.

Category: English