HONKYTONK - A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF BABEL
Take a look at this INCORRECT definition online:
Noun 1. honkytonk - a cheap disreputable nightclub or dance hall
Here is the actual definition, and what follows is an example of why language changes and gets twisted in meaning until rather completely distorted at times so that the original inferences contained therein are completely lost, if not at best diluted.
A honky-tonk (also called a honkatonk, honkey-tonk, or tonk) is a type of bar that provides musical entertainment (usually country music) to its patrons. Bars of this kind are common in the Southern and Southwestern United States.
The term "honky-tonk" has also been applied to various styles of 20th-century American music.
First of all, as a musician, an educated man, and a common simple man, I have to articulate that this definition is an ignorant dis-service and explain exactly why in great detail.
Please bear with me momentarily...
A honkytonk is a place typically in a rural community, thence onward later to the city, where inexpensive entertainment performed by craftsman would be performed before the audience and offered at a reasonable and fair, and often below the exceedingly high and more common price of the present time the venue would be offered, as compared to other business establishments in the industry offering the same type or similar type of entertainment.
It may be true that some honkytonks were or became disreputable, however it is not in the least bit innate to the definition that all honkytonks are disreputable, and to see that offered as a definition in the free dictionary is shocking, disgusting, ignorant, and thankfully, correctable.
This blog entry will be sent to that site, which I typically like, but even more so with a "grain of salt" now, (cliche:defintion-to keep in mind with lesser regaurd then you would with a more concrete and definitive database).
I hope this letter will be eye opening or equally; enlightening to any that will read it and offer to do the same.
All, may in at least a possibility however slim, be recorded incorrectly and therefore may be interrelated incorrectly forever more until we together collectively decide to make what is inaccurate, accurate once again.
I will not claim to be the largest fan of Wikipedia; however, it is accurate in definition and includes the words actual etymology, which is a rarity in this day and age.
Why did this happen you may ask?
Honkytonks originated to provide inexpensive (a word often replaced in spoken and written language with the word cheap) live entertainment for patrons just before and during the great depression of the late 1920's and 30's...not unlike our modern economic challenges that we collectively face during this year of 2011 in the United States, and much over the entire world.
Language is key to many facets in life, including but not limited too: peace, learning, advancement, knowledge, progress, ad infinitum.
Here is a story I crafted for a contest held by Pennsylvania wine (in short, links are at the article link), for and on the behalf of literacy.
This is something I believe in and will strive to carry a torch for, as that torch was passed to me by so many fine teachers in this life, be they or proper education or shared mutual education amoung friends.
Literacy is the fundamental building block of thoughtfulness, as opposed to thoughtlessness, perhaps, harsh you may say, but seemingly true, as to know less truth leaves one less in the light, less enlightened, further from truth, means less meaning and less direction, and the key that unlocks that door of ignorance and lets one pass through the corridor of truth into the light of knowledge towards peace and humanity is literacy.
Language is perhaps the most creative art, and its thread are in the arts of all the arts combined as if woven into a tapestry of the arts combined themselves, much like we that are woven through the common fabric of space time we share now as you read but merely a thread on the internet…
I am listening to Neil Young – Le Noise _ The Film…on YouTube.com on the internet on My Dell Dude!!!...
I wrote a song and recorded it all earlier today start to finish…because Neil fires me up and inspires me to use gifts bestowed to celebrate life and it is literacy and a really great book, The Bible, that are strong in my life today, and ever more centering themselves towards me as I accept them in all my human stubbornness.
I only share this to offer a glimpse with words through a portal of a slice into my day past now that you can read and share if just for a moment and flow into the music I wrote…I am blown away when I hear that somewhere…Neil Young and I see something in a very similar way…and we did that independently…and came to some similar grooves in sound and topic musically…
Part of my own very soul lives in Neil’s music…I understand his tunes because I have lived them…I may not understand a lyric, but nonetheless the feel is the same through the music and the way he lets it just be such an expression of his way he feels as he uses the guitar, voice, and other devices to capture a moment of expression…cool stuff, and an art that includes, words, meaning, and definition…
I really am passionate about this…check out his tunes as mentioned above…a different side of Neil, and then,,,hmmmm…still the same old Neil…how did he do that ?...
Enjoy it…back on point and topic,
Language is always evolving, and often times the denotation and connotation can deviate between themselves, and they exist so that this may never happen to start with! And may even at worst; completely loose their original meaning - or - etymology.
Like the word Bad, for example. It may mean intolerable, or incredibly awe striking…depends on usage and setting.
Word etymology is of paramount importance because it lets us trace a word to its origin, and from that origin it is most often typically clear why the word exists, and what it actually means.
Thought, without a doubt preceded art and written word.
First thought was, and then drawing followed, and then guttural grunts, by nicer sounding noises, and eventually over years, words...slowly sounding smoother and more appealing to the ear, but not always.
The ancient hieroglyphs of Egypt are an amazing feat, as are other civilizations intricate systems of symbol language, many not even close to fully understood today, as the knowledge key of those languages, even as sophisticated as our so called modern technology is, still cannot unlock all of the symbols into their complete context, undoubtedly full of more, deeper, and enlightening knowledge.
Early, there was perhaps only one, or a few of a handful of languages that were spoken, and the common norm.
Then word was written into symbol letters that represented the sound we would make with our audible voice and the word was spoken, or at least uttered and grunted at first, and evolved into all the languages of the world we know today.
When we allow our language to become skewed in meaning, it forever changes the meaning and context of all it surrounds, and pollutes the sea of language, and we should all be vigilant to keep language easily decipherable at some level.
Doctors use Latin, because although not a spoken language in these ages, it is the most specific meaningful picture painting in your mind kind of language we are capable of collectively picturing in our minds eye, but perhaps not all of us, as we see how modern financial and educational times certainly are in favor of a profession such as a doctor or a lawyer that can utilize these skill sets of learning Latin, if he is so equipped to learn through studying this ancient incredible language so pure and seemingly incapable of being privately interpreted.
The point is made and I hope it is an eye opening one, however when Babel was told in its original Biblical form as it is carried in word today, it is often ignored or scoffed at...and why? It is exactly as it was and is again.
Many of today’s problems are from a lack of common ground when communicating, be it in language, spiritually, ethnically, culturally, ad infinitum.
Better understanding in life and increasing knowledge should lead to an enlightenment that is awe inspiring and positive and forthcoming quickly to even more knowledge, as an excitement shall overcome the soul to seek the answers that are His truth.
I cannot help to get anything but deep or spiritual, because it is what always happens in this life's journey, and I would like to share and offer the same, and my gift is words and music.
MobiusTripz is my music…recorded at home in a lil’ ole studio in the mountains of western Maryland…just an expression of art too…and word and time and meaning…or the journey towards enlightenment…all in good fun and only with the best of prayers for the entire well being of everything in mind when crafted, and crafted to share with others willing to listen if they so shall choose.
I hope this brings a gift to your thoughts as you read this and your thoughts form around these very words.
Musical expression is a wonderful extension of this very topic, but that is a story for another time…
"Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time." (1)