A Great Storehouse of Memory

Language appears as a great storehouse of memory, or it my be said to serve as a net, not imprisoning us but supporting us and aiding us to get at meaning beyond present meaning through the very fact that it embodies other’s experiences. Words, because of their common currency, acquire a significance greater than can be imparted to them by a single user and greater than can be applied to a single situation. In this way the word is evocative of ideal aspects, which by our premises are the only aspects constituting knowledge….The community of language gives one access to significances at which he cannot otherwise arrive. To find a word is to find a meaning; to create a word is to fins a single term for a meaning partially distributed in other finds. Whoever may doubt that language has this power to evoke should try the experience of thinking without words.

(Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences, pages 158-159)