WHERE DID WORDS COME FROM?
Words, are what court reporters are trained to write, all in realtime – at least for themselves, and to write at a very fast pace and often for extended periods of time. The average number of pages a reporter writes is approximately 50-60 pages an hour, at an average speed of 180-200 words a minute. By the end of a six or seven-hour day, that can amount to a whole lot of words.
Reporters will write long words, short words, hard words, easy words, technical words. They will write — well, you get the picture. Words, words, words. As a matter of fact, a court reporter’s whole career is built around words. With that being said, and as a reporter for over 38 years, I was on a quest. Where do words actually come from and how did words begin? I mean, since my livelihood happens to be words, why not know the answer.
Did words just evolve, as is espoused by Darwinism in the formation of mankind. Maybe it was the ape that was banging on his chest while asserting himself as king of the jungle, and right before he catapulted into a man, he belted out with uh, uh, uh, uh, which by the way is said in many depositions and court proceedings to this very day. “I , uh, you know, uh, was headed down the, uh, road, when, uh, I was rear-ended by the, uh, you know, 18- wheeler.” Well, maybe that is a stretch. Most court reporters would simply question whether that should even be included in a transcript. However, I have to tell you, uh has been identified as a word sound and actually signifies hesitation.
So, back to the origin of words: Did they evolve from guttural sounds echoed by some primate that eventually morphed into mankind? And if not from there, then where?
I have done an exhaustive research, visited many web sites, even followed blog discussions and postings in search of the origin of the spoken word. The bottom line is there is no definitive answer or consensus as to the origin. While most argue there is no scientific answer, or documented proof as to where words come from or how they started, most believe that words simply evolved from the utterances of sounds. If that’s the case, then some sounds evolved into what we know as English, some into Spanish, French, et cetera actually, more than 6,400 different languages.
Over 45 percent of the population believes in evolution, and that man simply evolved; it stands to reason that same belief holds true for where words come from. But for me, that is really a huge stretch. Even the watch on my wrist was made by a creator. The hands on my watch didn’t simply converge with the band, face and internal mechanisms and begin to tick at the precise speed of time; it took a creator.
For me, Creationism is a much easier concept to embrace, than evolution. With that belief, I had one more place to search for the origin of words.
I went to the good book, the Bible, and there I found a passage in the book of John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God . . . . . I had made an even more astonishing discovery . . . . . and the word was God. Now I knew where words came from, as well as identified what the first word was. . . . and the word was God.
As to the unsolved mystery of the various languages, I discovered that too. In Genesis 11:9 it says, “. . . . and God gave them diverse languages.”
That unfettered sound of uh is still around, and although you may not see it in many transcripts, it is still being used to this very day. There are those who will argue that it was ushered in by the king of the jungle, or some other creature. But if by chance some fine attorney looks at me and says, “Madam Court Reporter, since your career is built around words, do you happen to know where words come from?” I can confidently proclaim, “I believe the spoken word, and the wonder thereof, was given to us by our Creator.”
Until we, uh, postulate again, thank you for blogging with the Alpha-bit.
Kathy May – President