reply to post by FritosBBQTwist
I shall try to expand/clarify my idea using analogy. For this analogy, think of words as Lego blocks (toy building blocks/building tools for
When a child has no Legos, he can still imagine and conceptualize in his mind, but he can not build anything, either to see if its construction is
sound, or to show it to anyone else. He may, in his own mind, have pictures or understandings of things that he sees, and experiences, but they are
fleeting and difficult to grasp.
Give this child a basic set of Legos and some ideas or pictures, and he can build things to show other people what is in his mind. He can also build
what he imagines for himself, to see if it "stands" as he thinks it will, and then examine it after he has built it, for the Legos make it easier to
grasp and work with. This child can still imagine and have concepts of things he does not have the Legos to build, but again he can not show these
more complicated concepts to others nor examine them as fully.
Now give the child a more advanced set of Legos with more shapes and perhaps moving parts. Now he can build the more advanced things he has been
imagining and show them to others, and also the shapes and pieces will spark ideas for more things to build. He can build what he sees in the real
world, build most of what he can imagine in his head, and build what he is shown pictures or images of, and perhaps even build things that he is only
told about, if he has a good skills. He can test out more advanced concepts to see if they work, and get other people to look at them and give him
feedback. His ability to share his concepts with others now increases because he has Legos for things he has only imagined before, but also the new
Legos increase his thinking and imagination and give him new concepts by sparking ideas for more things that could be built. It is a two-way process,
Eventually the child may want to build things he has conceived in his mind, but there are no Legos that will allow him to build them. They do not
exist. Given the tools, he may go a step further and create his own Legos in order to build the things he imagines and show them to others.
Words are the building blocks for our thoughts and our language. The more words we know, the more tools we have to express thoughts and concepts. New
words that we learn and use may also lead to new ideas, new ways of looking at things, and new understandings.
For a mildly humorous example, Freud would probably never have come up with his theories if his vocabulary had never gotten past the "See Dick and
Jane run" level. Or, try to imagine Shakespeare's plays without the extensive vocabulary he used.