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An Ode to Words

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of Magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


The thing about words is… they’re filled with echoes of the ancients. They’ve the power of prophecies running in their dangly limbs, with the intent of a spoken emotion tumbling from lips to ears. They can take you places you’ve never heard of, make you believe things you can’t even dream. Words can make you feel: With their crispy, crunchy exterior, and their soft and gooey hearts that spill flavour deep into your subconscious. Their sounds will hold you up, or run you down, rake through you like a demon hand, or enfold you in petals of a soft-spoken promise.


The thing about Words is… they’re Magic.


Words. Here at Room 206 we don’t just love them – we adore them; We can’t get enough of them! They’re our bread and butter: the cracking shell of a fresh croissant, the gold butter smelting into its folds. They’re the staggered cups of earthy coffee that carry us through the day, and the lightest pink kisses from our loved ones when we return home at night. They’re more than just straggly letters scrawled across dog-eared pages; when spoken they’re spells that have the power to bend a will, inspire a spirit, and set the world alight.


Part of what makes up that magic is sound symbolism. As the first distinguishing grunts and grumbles of our Homo sapien ancestors were spoken across the world when they trekked from one continent to another, some sounds were more likely to alert them to danger, and others to reward. In 1929, Wolfgang Köhler asked which of his two nonsense-words – “baluma” or “takete” – best described an angular object or a round object.


Overwhelmingly, most people agreed that “baluma” was the round object and “takete” the angular one. In similar ways, the sounds of words today carry just as much feeling. You can hear it in the sickly sounds of unease and disease murmured about in cold hospital corridors. You remember it in the quiet, clipped ire of a teacher’s disgruntled voice; catch it in the bubbly chatter of children and friends on a butterfly-filled summer’s day; and listen for it in the lazy love-words of sweethearts on a languorous afternoon.


But, words are also keys to our emotions. Their meanings can inspire us, create mantras that lead us to our best selves, and kindle peace, calm, and focus when we repeat them in meditation. Masaru Emoto believed in the power of positive words, saying, “This universe was created by a combination of two waves, love and gratitude.” When he placed kind words like “Thank you” and “Love Gratitude” near water and let it freeze, the resulting crystals were jewel-like and beautiful. Whereas the word “Fool” froze like a muddied puddle.


They bring light, shed dark, preserve life and bring enlightenment to the whole world, so to echo the sentiments of a fellow wordsmith and magician: Words are, in our not-so-humble-opinions, the world’s most inexhaustible source of magic, love, and joy! And we’re just delighted, thrilled, inspired, excited, exhilarated (every word you can think of), to work with them!

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