An example of captivating language

Language is a means that enables us to express some of the most delicate and elaborate concepts and thoughts, the most fanciful of conditions and as far as the English language is concerned, “the most specific of conditions, the improable of contingencies, and the most arcane of distinctions” (as I  earlier noted too, citing Bryson (Bill, that is)). Used by a skillful practioner, whether in written words or impassioned speech, it (I mean English only in my contention) can sway the minds and hearts of millions, help to launch the greatest of endeavours (not to mention, the worst catastrophes and tragedies possible by man) or stop either…

However, I can go on and on on the topic but what I wanted to focus on was some language which leaves a marked impression – never mind its provenance. Go through these few examples I cite and then I will continue…

“There is a sixth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area that might be called the twilight zone.”
“The barrier of loneliness: the palpable, desperate need of the human animal to be with his fellow man. Up there, up there in the vastness of space, in the void that is sky, up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the stars waiting, waiting with the patience of eons, forever waiting … in the twilight zone.”

“Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there’ll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he’ll look up from what he’s doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there’ll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he’ll smile then too because he’ll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man’s mind, that are a part of the twilight zone.”

“You’re looking at Act One, Scene One, of a nightmare, not restricted to witching hours or dark, rainswept nights. Professor Walter Jameson, popular beyond words, who talks of the past as if it were the present, who conjures up the dead as if they were alive.”

“A question trembles in the silence: Why did this remarkable thing happen to this perfectly ordinary man? It may not matter why the world shifted so drastically for him. Existence is slippery at the best of times. What does matter is that Bill Lowery isn’t ordinary. He’s one of us. A man determined to prevail in the world that was, and the world that is, or the world that will be…in the twilight zone.”

“We know that a dream can be real, but what if reality is only a dream? We exist, of course, but how? In what way? As we believe, as flesh and blood human beings, or are we simply playing parts in someone else’s feverish, complicated nightmare? Think about it and then ask yourself, “Do you live here in this country? In this world? Or do you live instead…in the twilight zone?”

And a particular favourite….

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, time carries away the names and deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment. A blessing of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty: God be between you and harm in all the empty places you walk.”

To be continued….


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