Currently, I am reading a book called, The Ascent of Humanity. In it, the author talks about language as a way of separating us from nature, but also how we think that to label things allows us power over them. It is as if, the author postulates, that by naming something we can control it.
I think of the relief that so many people get by having a name for their illness. I think of those that don’t know what is wrong and how powerless they feel to not even have a name for their illness.
Of course, the author states, we are not really in control by naming any more than we are without. I think this need for a name is sort of an instinctive response to when language really did have power and naming something gave us some control of it.