Somebody is responsible

I’ve been on a Bulfinch’s Mythology bender lately.

Why? Maybe because I recently finished watching “The Good Place” and “Good Omens” on Netflix, both of which I recommend. But, I also had a desire to know more about a certain Roman/Greek god Bacchus/Dionysus. (Don’t the Romans seem like god thieves?)

Regardless, I got to thinking about WHO DREAMED ALL THIS SHIT UP? Think about it, there was somebody, at some moment in the past, who had the inkling to say something akin to, “Boy, that’s some hardcore white streaks shooting down from the stormy sky. Someone must be throwing them. Maybe, yeah, maybe his name is Zeus.”

SOMEBODY had to have that first thought. Sure, there may have been discussion or what have you. But there was an original human who had that very first notion.

And then I got to thinking about all the other gods. And all the other words. And all the other ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE.

“I sure am thirsty. I think I’ll drink some of that, um, trizzick. Uh, no. Bakabaka? Naw. Water. Yeah, I’ll call it water.”

Imagine, every word ever spoken was first spoken by one dude (or dudette). Every word. Somebody did it first.

And every thing created, every food eaten, everything. Somebody had to have done it first. Millions of unique names and objects.

And not just once, thousands of times for the same thing. How many languages have a word for “water”? All of them?

Individuals, millions of them, in their own time and minds, are responsible, at some point in the past, for every single word we utter, every thing we use, and every notion we understand.

 

 


15 thoughts on “Somebody is responsible

  1. That rabbit hole, for me, began in my late teens, sometime after a weekend retreat to some bible college where I’d assumed I’d go and follow my heart into the ministry. But the more I learned about the false gods the more I realized people always made shit up, since the beginning of time. Then I started treading where no man dare tread: the doubting of one’s faith. Needless to say, that particular walk along the path of “who made who” soon made me the atheistic infidel I am today and have been, happily, these 35 years since. As for the further you tread down that rabbit hole of wordulation, I haven’t yet traveled that far. I have, however – according to the squiggly red line spell checker just above here – invented a new word. How’s that for a trizzick?

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  2. Aspirin originates from willow bark, and I’ve always wondered who was the first person to rip off a piece, chew it and go “Hey, my headache is gone!”. The origin of the gods is interesting as most of them were created to explain natural phenomena that early humans were unable to understand, and yes, the Romans morphed the Greek gods into their own in the same way that the Catholic church morphed Celtic gods into saints. Everything old is new again!

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    1. Here’s godlike – theoeidí̱s. I’m too lazy to do wrongly thinking one is godlike. There’s also Daemon, (minor God) used freely by the hacking community to describe their work. Poetics combo of now and then could be odious theoeidí̱s. When discussing politicians the phrase “thieving assholes” works for me.

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      1. It works for me too, but not for them, obviously. They are self-proclaimed gods (and clearly I have undemocratic regimes in mind that I’m so familiar with.) It’s not the plebs who entitled them to rule over them like cattle, although, I have to admit, it takes both knowledge and skill to organize and control.

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  3. Here’s a scary truth. A good many words have been invented, ways of speech simply because education sucks and it’s okay to be less than semi literate. I’m sure you see it in your subcultural vernacular. Most, if not all of the things we try to explain as writing devices, we use their lengthier definition because we don’t know the one word from those word inventors of long ago. Because we were taught the definition as process, not the word that embodies the process. So we end up with this busy, rambling language because no one bothered to save us the trouble, if they even ever knew.

    So, yeah. God thievery was/is rampant. I let Joseph Campbell condense that stuff for me. I mean I’m so simple I can’t believe nobody on that freaking Island knows the story of Stonehenge. I mean come on. It’s an island.

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    1. My intent/revelation got lost with the theory of gods.

      It’s not just those names, but every concept, every little thing — some single person had to have originally thought it up.
      Every word, every letter. Someone thought up the letter “a”. Or the word “alpha”. The word “many” or “none”.
      “Soup” is a good one. Who was the very first person to think of and say “soup”?

      Someone stuck milk in a calf’s stomach and first revolted and then tasted “cheese”.

      “What’s this goo in my milk jug?”
      “Let me see. Hmm, smells sour.”
      “Kwat!”
      “What did you call me?”
      “No, kwat, you know, sour.”
      “I think you mean Kase.”
      “Caseus?”
      “I’m gonna call it cheese.”

      Like

      1. I got that, but the point of language, to me, is how over laden it becomes over time. A long time ago I did a post about one word is enough. The alphabets, words, arose out of mutual consent. Someone holds up a rock and says “gurg.” Three others say “blort”. Blort it is. It evolves. Yes, at the center there’s a person with a vocal concept for a visual, or an excuse for the unknown. But without evolving and acceptance, where are we? Babel. And who started the mythologies? Somebody in power who needed an excuse for why a prairie fire killed their corn.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wonder if the internet will now provide a canonical source for the pronunciation and spelling of words.
          200+ languages in Europe? In a place the size of Australia. Not that I think civilization will survive, but in 1000 years, if no true apocalypse materializes, will there be fewer, or just one language used planet-wide? English? Mandarin?

          Liked by 1 person

  4. The Zeus example is interesting. We have a tendency to personify things. Even in this scientific age, I’ve seen people curse hurricanes, rainstorms, and overflowing rivers as though they were something personal. So it’s easy to see people personifying the sky, seeing it as angry when it strikes things down. This fits if you check into the etymology of “Zeus”: https://www.etymonline.com/word/zeus

    All his other attributes probably accrued over time, with storytellers occasionally adding a new detail because it seemed right. Do that for a few centuries, and you have a sky god with a philandering personality and elaborate history. Keep going and you end up with a all father figure who rules the universe.

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  5. How true. The creation of mythological words went along with science as well. That must have been a slightly harder task. Fantastic explanation seems easier than figuring out reality and categorizing everything with new names to represent emerging “verifiable truth” of the world and sky. In this sense, it is kind of scary to think about how religious and philisophical musings actually turned out to have some basis in what we call facts. Duke

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