A quick, yet rare thought with great potential: can language be compared to a viral infection?
I had this flashing thought this morning during breakfast by which I visualised language as a viral system evolving through contagion and repetition.
I have been researching viruses for another ebook I’m hoping to Kindle publish before I die and, I tell you… EVERYTHING on Earth that has some evolving to do behaves as if following the basic survival system viruses “use” (viruses being inert “beings”).
Language, through it’s DNA components (words) seems to behave like a virus: expressions are received by the host and modified through the host’s cognitive system at that particular time; the resulting mutation spreads via oral or written means and either maintains its meaning or changes it.
Adaptability is a key factor for rating word strenght (commonality). The longer an expression “survives” under the same meaning, the most likely it is to remain there for ever under the same semantic conditions. Also, the more meaning an expression or word can be attributed, the more it will be used and thus spread.
I have a few examples if you care for me to elaborate but I would also love to read your thoughts on this.
By the way… how has my thought evolved in your brain? Will this thought spread and perdure or evolve into something else or be completely erradicated…?