Life's journeys: Language, culture, communication

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Latest ownership craze

I remember my mother raising me with that Central European sense of politeness, where she would constantly nag: “What does it cost you to say hello? What does it cost you to say thank you?” It used to cost nothing, and so we grew up always politely saying hello and thank you.

But what do you know? Apparently, it has cost a German firm only 900€ to PATENT the Tyrolese greeting “Grüß di” and to assume ownership of these words.  So now, if you are an Austrian, it CAN cost you a lot of money to say hello in your own language. 🙂 I guess pretty soon you won’t be able to greet your customers with “Grüß di” anymore, because you will be obtaining “commercial gain” from its use.

Come on, people. Can you even own WORDS?! Everyday words everybody uses??? Can someone own something he has not helped create???

How far will this ownership madness go? Will we own swaths of dictionaries, just like we own land?!… Oh, and let me guess: Will the poor only be allowed to use these two words: “Yes, sir!” ????

When will we understand that we can’t really own anything at all, that it’s all an illusion?  I vote for the freedom of words. Free “bread”, free “water”, free “love”!

I don’t know. Is it just me or are we turning everything into just another object, just another product?  Everywhere we look, just another dollar sign. We buy dead roses from the food store as if they were nothing but staples. Groceries. Stems and artificial-looking petals in unnatural colors, that come with their own embalming solutions and money-back guarantees:

“Delicate blossom-spirit once lived here. Currently vacated. Add this substance to the water. Guaranteed to last 5 days in a vase and impersonate a flower”…


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