The concept of universal syntax I have come up with has not yet come to be regarded as “common”…which I think is absolutely absurd, because just about everyone in the world has one — a universe. Don’t bother trying to deny it, please. We cannot possibly say — even in the case of colours— that all humans perceive the world the same way, have senses that do their jobs in the exact same way; neither do humans all exist in the same exact time and space as each other. Hence, depending on our environments and our way of perceiving, we all have our various versions of the universe.
Having cleared that up, we must now move on to the problem of syntax. Syntax, in this case, is simply a systematic and orderly arrangement. Each person has their own idea of what the universe “should be” like. This is not an idea of perfection; it is an idea of “normalcy.” Such ideas usually form subconsciously, from observation for a long period of time of the general habits or rates of change of the human and physically geographical environment that surrounds them. So, for example, according to my universal syntax, Simeon and I walk to school together and Owiredua never wears yellow.
As I said before, universal syntax is not an idea of perfection. If, on spare occasions, Simeon lagged behind in the maelstrom of walking students, or Owiredua donned a yellow headscarf, it is not a destruction of syntax. It is merely an error—a fluke. Assuming our personal universes are microcosmic, what can, in fact, disrupt syntax is the introduction of new people into the microcosm and/or the removal of others from it.
It may take a while to recover from the discomfort of this disruption and intervention (the Victor Butler definition of intervention being something from outside that is coming into a certain space to effect a change), for it involves a person having to come up with a new universal syntax, this time, factoring in all the changes that were and are out of his/her power to control.
I have been trying for the past three years to perfect my syntax, which, admittedly, is foolish. In this same time span, elements outside of my control have intervened so much as to turn my universe almost 180 degrees. There is conflict within me.
“The conflict is created when, in our quest to master the elements, we come up against structures that remind us of the enormity of the world outside our frame.” -Victor Butler
To follow through with my previously chosen illustrations as examples, what is happening to my universe is this: Simeon is not walking to school with me because he would prefer to walk with the newer people in the system, and Owiredua has changed almost her entire wardrobe to yellow due to the influence of her roommate, who is new to the school. (Note that these are just examples. I’d kill Simm if he tried that, and personally torch Ray’s wardrobe if she made such an atrocious decision…or is it just my desire to master the elements talking?)
6 thoughts on “Universal Syntax”
Love the way your mind words. Keep up the ruminations, and thanks for sharing.
And thank you too for reading.
I love this piece. People need to see this. I’ve been inspired. I’m impressed.
Hooray for having a positive impact on humans!
Ha! I wish I did.
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