Pro Tips / January 23, 2018

TED Talk Tuesday: Javed Akhtar

The Indian writer Javed Akhtar says words have power. In his TED Talk, he discusses the peculiar nature our labels and symbol and the total lack of relationship these symbols have with the original object. Akhtar notes the great weight of the relatively arbitrary sounds and symbols human beings use when describing everything from an animal to an emotion.

Akhtar says we, human beings, connect words to our personal experiences and memories. He says great writers take advantage of the associations the average mind will make with any given word and is able to built a world around words. He argues words give our lives meaning, more words leading to more meaning and clearer thoughts. The faster the world moves, the faster we attempt to communicate, the less words we use and, consequently, the less deep our messages become. Depth and clarity in meaning and meaning is important, says Akhtar, as it is conveys our culture. To lose your words is to lose your culture.

Akhtar says we should love words as they are our only connection to the past and future.

Tags:  TED Talk TED Talk Tuesday

Mona Beydoun
I am a graduate written communications student. In addition to writing for the Holman Success Center blog I also work as the graduate assistant for the Eastern Michigan Writing Project and Campus and Community Writing. I enjoy reading and watching period dramas in my free time.

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