I think we might be too dependent on verbal means of communication. Verbal communication applies “lossy” compression techniques that too often obscure clear mutual understanding. Expressing feelings and other pre-verbal (deeper than verbal–not less developed) experiences simply cannot be encompassed by our abstract alphabet. Anything that tries to open the bandwidth to normal experience levels quickly becomes unreadable; like Finnegan’s Wake. If not unreadable, it’s certainly limited by the amount of time it takes to download all the information it contains.
This is one of the reasons I’m fascinated by visual languages. An image has far greater bandwidth than a word. The cliche underestimates the number of words that can equal a powerful image. Image can handle pre-verbal experiences with much less loss of signal as well.
Unfortunately, most people I meet are visual illiterates to some degree. There simply is no societal-wide push to teach how to communicate with image. Not like there is to promote verbal literacy (I’m using “verbal” to refer to both the spoken and the written word. Lossy compression again). I see it every day. 2 of my favorite t-shirts contain image information, that when understood, can be expected to evoke a response. Few respond. This is good for me in the sense that there is a vast untapped market awaiting me, if I can only find a way to crack it open. It’s bad because I have no idea of how to promote visual literacy on a broad scale. I guess this is why most really popular artists can bullshit with the best of them: since few potential customers can actually understand sophisticated visual communication, the artists that can talk fast are the ones to land the sale.