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By Phil Polizatto,WWH – A true experience is something that monopolizes all of your senses while it is happening. It is something for which we use many words when trying to describe it to others. For example, a writer may want to share an experience with a reader.
“The roller coaster ride was exhilarating.” Does “exhilarating” truly give you the experience itself? No. Well, then, maybe more words would help.
“The roller coaster ride was exhilarating. The almost vertical descents made my stomach turn inside out, and the lunch I had just eaten attempted an embarrassing somersault out of my mouth. My brain detached from my skull and bounced around willy-nilly like an enslaved pinball in the hands of some flipper maniac. My heart leapt into my throat as often as a frog jumping from one sinking lily pad to another.”
Is that better? Sure. Does it give you the true experience of a roller coaster ride? I don’t think so.
We can use even more words, more descriptors, metaphors, and analogies, constantly circling the experience, trying desperately to hone in on just the right words that will convey the truth of the experience. As close as we may come, it is impossible. There is no one word; there are no amounts of words, which can truly duplicate someone else’s experience for you. You just have to take that roller coaster ride yourself. Then you’ll understand.
The only word in the English language that is what it is, is the word, “word.” Think about it! All other words pale in comparison in their attempt to be exactly what they present themselves to be. Even something as mundane as the word, “chair” is open to interpretation, and the reader will envision a chair based on his or her own experiences of a chair. The word “hurt” will bring a plethora of experiences to mind. And each person who reads or hears the word “joy,” will have a slightly different idea of it wandering around in their heads.
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