Last night my wife and I watched the movie “Akeelah and the Bee.” I loved it! It is the story of an 11 year old girl from the inner city who has a remarkable talent for memorizing words. With the encouragement of her school and with the help of an English Professor she is able to make it all the way to the National Spelling Bee Championships.
One of the interesting subplots in the story is the effect that Akeelah and her coach have on each other. Akeelah helps Dr. Larabee (played by Laurence Fishburne) loosen up while he trains her to to speak proper english.
A particular scene, where the two were arguing about the formality of language, was so interesting that I found myself meditating on it for a long time. I began questioning whether or not speaking in a formal or proper manner really was that much of a virtue.
I thought of how when Jesus came he didn’t speak too properly. He spoke the same Aramaic ‘slang’ that others were using all around him. And when the New Testament documents were written, they were written in Koine Greek — not Classical Greek or archaic Hebrew, but the rough trade language of the day spoken by the common man.
That brings me to blogging. Two months ago I didn’t have a clue what a blog was. But after playing around with blogging for a couple of weeks, I am becoming quite intrigued by the short, easy-to-publish format of blogs. What seemed far off and complicated now seems more common and natural.
It’s ironic how language shifts and develops. When I was growing up I couldn’t stand short stories. I always heard about them and I still remember Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County,” but to me the short story seemed inferior to a full length book (even though I never bothered reading much of either).
Times have changed. I now prefer reading a paragraph to a short story and a short story to a full book. I like information to be quick and easy — I prefer the blog to the frog. We’re the internet generation and our common language — the language of everyday people, is becoming digital and short. The blog typifies both. So, in the end, it seems like the legacy of the New Testament might lead pastors, writers, teachers and poets to consider using blogs as a natural form of communication — a rough and common Koine Greek.
Just a thought…
(Go to www.blogger.com to start blogging for free.)