#4 The Negative L-Words

loss
Middle Eastern words for “no” start with an L. In Hebrew it is “lo” and in other Middle Eastern languages it ranges to “lah”. Essentially, the English use an N to express negativity and the Middle Eastern languages employ the L.

However, L and N are very close linguistic relatives in formation. Say Ellen. Notice how your tongue moves and where it ends up in el and en. Now try this. Say el while pinching your nose. Really! Now try the en the same way. The difference between L and N becomes clear. With N, the closure in the mouth is complete. With L, there is air that can flow around the tongue.

This closure, full or partial, inspired the association with negativity with these similar consonants. And I believe it was infants ( ninos in Spanish ) that first created this association to turn down breast milk when they were full. If you read any list of basic English L-words, most of them seem related in concept to either negativity, lifting or light. There’s a lot more on this discussion in my book “Deciphering the English Code” .

Some basic negative English L-words are listed below.

LOSS, LOSE, LOUSE, LEFT (the weaker hand), LAME, LESS
LACK, LAG, LIMP
LITTLE, LITTER
LONE, LOATH, LOOSE, LAZY, LATE, LAMENT, LEAVE
LOW, LOWER, LOATH, LIE

So English L-words usually describe things or actions related to lifting or lowering. The lower case “l” is a line which points up and down, reflecting these two basic associations.

#3 Light Words

LIGHT WORDS

So if you see some logic in the theorem that some English L-words seem to be about things that are lifted in nature, and you think it is potentially non-coincidental that one lifts one tongue to say these very same English L-words, then you have one notch of proof that English is a Stone age language that has evolved into the world’s most known and influential language. I am aware that it’s going to take a lot more notches to convince many of you of this. Hang on. We’ve got plenty of notches on all the consonants.

So lets look through some English L-words that seem to be related to things lifted or lifting.

A levy lifts things up, as does a lever. A well is an elevator for water. (W+ELL) Oil (O+IL) is lighter than water; “o” is an ancient word for water with living progeny in French (eau) and cousins in English, osmosis ( water-motion ).

Image

Light is the ultimate light thing; it has no weight either, so light is light. That’s not a coincidence. You need light to see, so look is derived from lux, a Latin relative in the lifted L-word family. Of course there is helium, which goes up – and that is supposed to come from Greek. But helium’s root source is much older than Ancient Greece; it derives from the lifted tongue employed to create an L-sound. We’ve just lost the trail back.

Light travels in a line — and so a family of linear words was spawned which now includes words like list and limbo. Scientific words like longitude and latitude were created when we became more scientific, but the relation to the core concepts of lifting and light were never lost to English L-words.

A ladder takes you up. An elephant lifts his trunk. A loft is a room on high (and not low.)  A hill takes you up. A lens lets light in. A lid seems not to have much to do with light until you think about the first known lid, the eyelid. The eyelid stops light! (li+d) And the “d” at the end of a word (or a “t”) often signifies an end, as in end and splat.

And of course, life itself is dependent upon light. Humans have known this for a very long time, and that is why these words are somewhat similar.

#2 Do We Think in Pictures or Words?

Over time, the way we used our tongues to communicate led to a reprogramming of the way we actually thought, and now its hard to say that we still “think in pictures”. It appears to most that we sometimes think in pictures, but soon our minds gravitate back to thinking in words, which is the mainstay, especially when reading! Still, the words we are reading are living descendants of those original pictures that we thought in before we could speak . Our first words were simply descriptions of those images. In our first alphabets, we used actually images to form letters and scripts; hieroglyphics are actual images and Sumerian cuneiform is based on images. Once you understand the logic that generates much of the English language, one can decipher what those first images were by listening carefully to words, categorizing them into families and deciphering their roots.

Its also essential to understand that we thought in pictures much like animals before we spoke and we had been doing this “picture thinking” for 2 million years. Further, we inherited this method of thinking from our simean past, going back much further in time. One can not expect that the infrastructure to think in pictures has just vanished from the human brain. It has not. And we still consciously rely on it from time to time. It may even be that our words are just bridges to those images, and that we still think in pictures, but subconsciously.  Image

#1 The Dawn of Speak

Before human beings spoke, we communicated with body/sign language and thought in pictures, much the way animals do. About 125,000 years ago, a genetic mutation occurred which allowed some humans to control the motions of their tongues. Then, slowly but surely, our body/sign language method of communicating was largely replaced with spoken words.

Before spoken language, we had to lift our arms to convey the concepts of lift, up, high, etc. After we got control of our tongues, we could simply mimic that motion with our tongues. Notice that in English we lift our tongues to say lift, elevator, ceiling, light, helium, etc. The connections to our Stone Age mode of communication are preserved within the English language.

In my book, Deciphering the English Code, the transition from Stone Age body/sign language to modern spoken words is depicted in a way that anyone can understand. New students of English will quickly acquire a grasp for nuts and bolts of the world’s most important language, and seasoned lovers of language will appreciate the new dimension that is added to comprehension when the history of a word is exposed.

“The Bible speaks of a pre-Babel language, common to all men. I believe the core of that first language still lives and its heartbeat can be detected within our English words.”