The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Blog Entries, Essays

The pen is mightier than the sword, they say. I’ve always understood this to mean that compared to a sword, the pen has greater destructive power as an offensive weapon. But I also find this saying rather crude, so permit me to use some poetic license.

Let’s replace the word “sword” with its anagram: “words”.

“The pen is mightier than the words.”

What might I mean by that? you ask. The pen is the instrument of language, the tool used to fashion words on paper, that which gives expression to the mind. But it itself is mightier than the words it writes. Because, before the words are written, a pen contains within it the potential for an infinite possibility of letters, words, symbols or shapes. Once the words are written, they take on a fixed meaning. No matter how loose or ambiguous it is in context, it will remain unchanged, rigid. Even if those words are used in a destructive way, just as a sword would, the message will fade in time.

A pen however, is an object of potential, a symbol of all that can be expressed. Its message is immortal, as long as there those left to convey it.

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