What’s in a word?

Maybe it’s because I’m an English major. Maybe not. Either way, for the last while I’ve been considering the limits of language. Also, how the meaning of words has changed. Or hasn’t changed. On writing this post, I did a Google Image search for ‘word’ – the icon for the word-processing program came up – repeatedly. Surprised? Not much. My non-surprised response in itself says something.

What IS in a word? Even the word, ‘word’ has different meanings, yo. And I’m only just referring to English.

In social media the common developments: to tweet; retweet; post

I noticed words that don’t even exist: retweet; unfriend; facebook/ed (the verb).

According to some religions, at the Tower of Babylon people were struck with different languages to prevent them from working together to finish their building. Apparently, that’s where all our languages come from.

The limits of language, not only academically, allow, or disallow, us to communicate, express, interact in many different ways. When did retweeting something become real? When did it become UNDERSTOOD? What is the movement of language – communication – that allows us to evolve, while remaining the same?

Questions. And perhaps answers. Answers which will probably be more discursive and circular than anything else.


Durban should be the new Cape Town?

While I am totally in love with Cape Town, I have to admit that I had an enjoyable fling with Durban. First time to Durban and loved it. I must be honest,  I don’t think I’d live there, but would happily escape the Cape Town cold and have some summer weather in my own country.

I had three things I wanted to do when I was in Durbs – suntan in July (a concept foreign to me in my own country), visit the uShaka Marine World (having worked at the Two Oceans Aquarium) and visit as many museums as my stay would allow. Naturally, as I am a nerd. So we did the touristy things, the Stadium (Moses Mabhida Stadium totally knocks the Cape Town Stadium in its design). uShaka Marine World is beautifully incredible. And, the museum that really stole my attention was the Voortrekker Museum in Pietermaritzburg.

What confuses me: why is Durban not fiercely marketed as the place to be in our South African winter? Apparently the summers are unbearably humid. But their winters? Perfect weather. Hence one of their marketing campaign saying, “What Winter?”.

As much as I love my home city, I would completely understand why Durban would be favoured by tourists in the winter months. Durban is a surfer’s paradise, a beach life that would attract so many. What is the Durban government doing to promote this? Am I alone in this thinking? Surely Durbanites would be of a similar opinion?