Seven Word Limit?

Posted to CG2 – Jan 13, 2023

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning is LIMIT

Here’s an interesting question WordPress posed on this subject back on Oct 22, 2015. I’ll just tweak my response and you can share your opinion in the comments. Did you answer this question back when it was posed?

“Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?”

My first thought: Poets need words! How could a writer like Gibran subject himself to a seven-word limit? This idea would have put him out of business in an hour.

They say we use our few most common words for the greater part of our speech, but I doubt that me, you, he, she, they, is, am, are, yes and no, this and that, wouldn’t go far in communicating. It would help if the whole world understood the same nods, head shakes, and gestures. But I’ve learned from international hockey games that where we North Americans yell “Booo,” Russians whistle. Unhappy fans all stamp their feet, I believe.

And which language? We English believe we have the international language, so of course they should be our words. The folks in China may well dispute this and want to give us their seven words. Then we’d have an argument which would defeat the purpose of international harmony.

I’m a bit cynical in my old age. Writers may rhapsodize about universal love and harmony, but reality is a whole ‘nother ball game. I think of John Lennon singing “All we need is love,” while carrying on an extra-marital affair, divorcing his wife, abandoning his family. Love has to be directed or it can be destructive. The breakup of the Beatles, to quote Sir Paul, “was like a bitter divorce.” No “Love, love, love.”

Re: those seven words. Maybe we could skip nouns and verbs and go for adjectives? Awesome! Wonderful! Yuck! Cool! Gross! Sweet! Terrible! Weird! Teens come close to that already.

Thinking we earthlings could understand each other better if limited to seven words – even if we all spoke the same seven – is a whimsical dream, methinks. I wonder if Gibran could have stood this restriction himself for even a day? Could you?

Image: Pexels — Pixabay

8 thoughts on “Seven Word Limit?

  1. I subscribe to Merriam-Webster and receives a word a day. I always checked the origins of the “English” word. The definition is derived from other languages and takes more than seven words. English constantly evolving depending on the weather.

    Liked by 2 people

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