Why Language Matters


blue book

Anyone who writes knows that our word choices impact how readers take and understand what they are reading. What got me thinking about this whole idea is AA and the AA book they use. This thing is quite honestly fucking ridiculous and the language of the book keeps me from really focusing on the message of the book itself.

I can only really compare it to the Bible. A book that was written thousands of years ago, in the language of the time it was written. Had there been no real revisions in the last 2000 years, there would be millions reading it who either don’t understand a word in it anymore, or spend so much time deciphering into terms they can understand that the original meaning becomes lost. Hence, we have the King James Version for the purists, The New International Version for those who speak English, the Student Bible that uses words in way that younger people will understand. This is really the only reason the Bible remains relevant rather than just another literary block taking up space on our bookshelves.

So I have decided to rewrite the AA Blue Book. Well, not rewrite it exactly, but to simply go through it word for word, and update the language. It will no longer have a chapter for “wives”, instead, it will have a chapter for spouses, partners, roommates. Anyone who is close enough to an alcoholic that they should absolutely read that chapter to gain some insight on the alcoholic they love and how to help them.

This endeavor could take 20 years and I don’t mind. It isn’t something I want to profit from; it is just something I feel needs to be done (even if it is just for myself). Hopefully though, it will turn into “service” something that may help others who read this thing and think, “How can this apply to me today?” It needs to maintain it’s intent and history, but at the same time I think it would be much more helpful if it were relevant to today (and the concepts every much ARE still applicable and true) reading it though gives me a small case of language fits.

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