Thursday, October 13, 2011


Some people have stereo systems that cost more than I earn in a year. These people have incredibly sensitive ears. Their ears know if a sound signal has passed along a cheap copper-cable or a cable made from pure gold. They prefer the latter.

When I first heard about these people – audiophiles they call themselves – I was impressed. Imagine having a stereo worth more than a German car. That would be something, I thought. But then I thought about it a little longer, and I realised that this love of pure sound is actually a burden.

Imagine if you could only enjoy music if you were sitting in front of your expensive stereo system. You might be invited out to a concert but you would have to decline. “No thanks,” you would say, “the sound quality wouldn’t be good enough.”

You might go to a friend’s place. She is listening to a stereo that only cost her six month’s pay. The inferior sound quality would really take the shine off your evening.

I am not an audiophile, and for this I count myself lucky. I listen to music on a portable MP3 player through two dollar headphones. I am afraid, however, that I am becoming something far worse. I am becoming a lover of words. I am becoming a logophile.

I am afraid of this because I know that like most forms of love, this love has a dark side. We lovers of words may think that our love has set us free, but we are bound brothers: we are bound indeed. We think that our words allow us to sore with the eagles. Let me tell you friends, this is an allusion. We are deep, deep down, in our personal dungeons scrabbling after words.

Yes, we are in our dungeons. We are typing or reading. We think that we have found heaven through words.

Outside the sun is shining.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    Although I think in my case I am so easily distracted that I never get to obsessive.