Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Spinning a Yarn and Weaving Words

Detail from quilt made by my aunt, Brenda White (photo Jane Ayres)

The origin of words fascinates me.  And I discovered a new one recently - etymology - which is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.   We often use words without really thinking about the way we are doing so.  They can be rich in symbolism.  

A casual conversation got me thinking about the relationship between words that describe sewing, embroidery and the process of writing, so I did some exploring. Apparently, "text" derives from textile.

Latin textus "style or texture of a work," literally "thing woven," from past participle stem of texere "to weave, to join, fit together, braid, interweave, construct, fabricate, build *

*from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=text

We talk of weaving words and spinning a tale (where the term "spin doctor" originates?); we refer to the fabric of a story, the strands and threads.  A story can be a yarn, a tapestry of words. 

Spinning a tale, a tapestry of words.  And of course, a tapestry tells a story that can be communicated without the need for a knowledge of reading and writing. 

Humans have a profound need to tell their stories, by whatever means. 

Related post: http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/life-stories.html