Every word has a story
Few months ago I had a long conversation with a friend from bachelor’s university. I called him to congratulate for his success in master’s degree. When I am with him in the past, he always have some philosophical thoughts to share, since it’s not good (for me) to argue with a six footer, I mostly pretend to agree with his views. I remember first two years of his four year bachelors course was a ‘catastrophe’, he didn’t do well, but later he worked super hard to earn degree in Electronics and Communications (EC) and now he mastered it.
In between our conversation, I asked him if he have a chance to restart again whether he will take this electronics stuff. He said even though he is extremely happy with what he have done so far if he offered a chance to restart again he would love to learn about languages, not a particular language, but language itself, about their origin and how they are developed. He said he is so curious to know how phonetics (speech sounds) are developed, and then he asked me why we call ‘put’ as ‘put’ and ‘cut’ as ‘cut’, what forced them to put ‘that’ sound for ‘that’ particular action? He continued, ‘Shakespeare wrote in English and we are saying we know English, but hardly we understand what he originally wrote’, he explained about the speed at which languages are evolving. He predicts there is a high probability that his future kids will use a different set of words that isn’t invented yet. At that moment I was thinking ‘dafuq’ he is talking and I didn’t felt excited with his ideas but continued my old habit and agreed with his views.
Last weekend I was (again) in ‘Takism Square’, the epicentre of Istanbul, in turkish language it is called ‘Taksim Meydanı’. This ‘meydani’ is same as ‘മൈതാനം’ (Mai-tha-nam) in Malayalam (my second language) means an ‘open ground’ and this word sounds similar in Tamil (my mother tongue and oldest still spoken language in the world), and Hindi as well. Same applicable for Turkey’s national drink Çay (read as ‘chai’ / tea). Even with my (very, very) basic level of Hindi, I think Hindi have lot of similar words with Turkish than Tamil and Malayalam. (for e.g. दुनिया/Dünya meaning World). Even though these Indian languages are spoken almost 5000 kilometers away from Turkey, it’s so amazing to know people are using same words with same meaning for same purpose. I remember what my friend told ‘every word has a history, but still we use it daily without knowing its stories, stories behind its birth, its journey, its sound and its existence.’ (wait, why history is history not herstory, who framed that word?)
There is a good chance that I will meet him next month. If I meet I won’t leave him without telling why we call ‘put’ as ‘put’ and ‘cut’ as ‘cut’? :)