Is Pluto a planet? Is a virus alive? How can a Scutellosaurus mom lay a Stegosaurus egg? There are many mysteries in the natural world, but these are not among them. These are mysteries of classification. We humans like to organize the world into tidy categories. Sometimes the words we compose can become more important to us than the reality they are supposed to describe.
What about the words themselves? Surely they are unambiguous. My high school English teacher would have thought so. But definitions, spelling, and grammar all change with use. I don’t like Shakespeare much because I don’t like foreign language plays, and Shakespeare is far enough away from modern American English to be foreign to me. I have a friend who has never accepted that “organic” is no longer reserved for a chemical compound containing carbon, but means… whatever it means about food. What about those lolcats?
Words are slippery things. The words we choose can affect the reality we perceive. I don’t know what I think till I see what I wrote.
Read more of my words. All my science fiction novels are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. On Mars books 1 and 2 available now – books 3 and 4 coming fall 2016. Catch up now.