The sense of word is to perceive the being of language as a vehicle formed by the thoughts of another human being. We perceive and make connections to words, differentiated from other sounds. The way we perceive words has a particular relationship to the development and sensitivity of the sight sense and the movement sense. Typically between sixteen and seventeen years old, we notice a greater ability to filter what is intended for ourself, and the relevance of things to ourself. This contributes to being able to recognise archetypes in communication and only connect with what is relevant to us, without being as affected by someone else’s direction or mood.
Hyper sense of word
A person hyper sensitive to the spoken word can be sensitive to word forms. Although they may easily perceive words, they may also become fixated and lost in some words.
Hypo sense of word
If a person’s word sense is hypo sensitive, is to lack discernment of the spoken word. The process of recognition and response to perceiving language can be slow while they gather and repeat the words.
How to harmonise and support the development of the word sense
It helps to use a wide variety of words around the developing child: choosing different words to express the same thing, as well as playing with words, can help to expand the word sense. Speech exercises and stimulating conversations filled with wonder and beauty build an appreciation for the power of the spoken word. Adults can also study history, as well as the way symbols are used in myths, legends, and languages.
When someone connects to the meaning and thought living behind the word or gesture before speaking or acting it out, the word ‘lands’ in the other like a gift. To support the word sense to develop, stories and conversations need to be enlivened by living in the heart of the speaker and growing as it is spoken, rather than purely recited from memory. A conversation or lesson is made digestible by using descriptive words that have within them freedom for the listener to catch onto the rhythm and form a living imagination. Keep in mind to use words that are true for the whole, leave an impression of beauty, and demonstrate goodness in the world. Words can otherwise land in the other undigested, or we could leave the other un-free.