The Magic of Words

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

These words are displayed on my bedroom wall for me to see every day. Every time I read them I am reminded of how true they are. Words can transport us to other worlds.book-lead-to-discoveries They can make connections between people. They can lead to understanding. They can lead to happiness. Of course, they can also lead to confusion and sadness, but isn’t that magical too, in a way?

The ability for two or more people to share thoughts and ideas is magic. They don’t even need to be in the same place. Like right now. We are participating in the magic. I wrote this post one evening while sitting in my dorm. You are reading it now, sitting in many possible locations at many possible times. We are communicating across time and space, sharing the idea of the magic of words.

This reminds me of one of my favorite passages in Stephen King’s book On Writing. He explains that stephen-king-on-writing-book-coverwriting is telepathy. He uses the example of transmitting the idea of a rabbit in a cage on a table with an 8 on its back. The reader receives the message and there has been a meeting of the minds. They have shared the idea of the same rabbit with the same 8 on its back. My paraphrase of this does not do the idea justice so I encourage you to read it in the book. Actually, I encourage you to read the whole book because it is wonderful.

Whether you call it telepathy or magic, the ability to share ideas between two people who have never met and never spoken is an amazing opportunity.


What is your favorite example of the magic of words?


5 thoughts on “The Magic of Words

  1. Omigosh! Some of my favorite examples are in The Book Thief. I love how Zusak paints pictures using words you might not think go together:

    “When the train pulled into the Bahnhof in Munich, the passengers slid out as if from a torn package.”

    “All was dark-skied and hazy, and small chips of rain were starting to fall.”

    “In Liesel’s mind, the moon was sewn into the sky that night. Clouds were stitched around it.”

    Magical words indeed!


  2. I love the idea of words being magical, and the timelessness of words is always mind-boggling. My favorite example may be how childhood books can still resonate with us at the deepest levels of our cores and transport us back to a moment where our mother is reading to us or grandma is baking apple cobbler. A single word can draw us into memories that we haven’t thought about in years. Thanks for sharing!


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