Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Choosing Words

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.
Oct 30 · 2 min read

This piece of writing is all about words, but not any words. It’s only about the words that are appropriate. I’m attempting to convey to you the importance of selection.

As I write, each word falls into a pre-existing slot. By choosing the correct structures to convey the message, I am easing your comprehension. I might have a large vocabulary, but I’m not interested in showboating my command of the language. I’m using unusual words parsimoniously and only when they add value to you, the reader. Like a rapper, using repetition, I can assault your mind with a cacophony of constructs, but, at the same time, I’m avoiding braggadocio. That was awkward.

There’s a sense that this missive already exists in some sense and that it’s being chiseled from the white marble of this blank page. Each tap with the tiny hammer shatters the atomic bonds holding the calcified remains of ancient sea creatures together in a block of forbidding possibility. Each percussive thrust of that little iron wedge gouges another tiny morsel of foliated minerals from the surface of boundless freedom.

But what is being constructed has always existed, if only in potential, just beneath the surface that asks, “what will you become?” It’s as if I’m feeling my way through the natural fissures that already existed in the rock before the atoms in my body had found each other; squeezing my way through these narrow passages that demand to be expressed clearly and succinctly as I seek the end. And when will that come? We will arrive at the end when the end arrives in us.

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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