Someone recently posted the Across the Universe version of Happiness is a Warm Gun (originally by The Beatles, off the Beatles White Album) on Facebook. The Across the Universe version was an excellent rendition, actually there is absolutely nothing about that film that falls short of excellent.
But the lyrics now stuck in my head, Mother Superior Jumped the Gun, and I Need a Fix Cause I’m Going down, made an association for me with a scene out of Trainspotting, where one of the characters says of their drug dealer, “We called him Mother Superior on account of the length of his habit”.
I find an interesting association in as much as both habit and length have very different meanings and contexts, habit referring not to part of a nuns apparel, but rather to a drug habit, and length referring rather than to a physical dimension, one of time.
While I was aware language plays a very big part in our thought processes, indeed, people who learn multiple languages actually have distinct personalities in each, it is interesting how the use of the same words for entirely different meanings or contexts can allow associations between those meanings or contexts that otherwise would not have happened or made sense.
It’s my belief that in humans, and other animals that use language to any degree, that language plays a much larger role than mere communications or verbal forms of thought. I believe it actually is a form of information compression used by the brain. Think of an Apple for example and what comes to mind, the shape, colour, texture of the skin, and because we have words for Apple and each of these characteristics, our brains only have to store links or pointers to this information instead of the information itself for each item, saving storage space as it were. Like stars in the sky, the estimation of the number of neurons keeps going up, currently 100 billion, but even so that’s a limited quantity for all the information we actually store.