It is language alone...

"Bear in mind, language is man's way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone that separates him from the lower animals."
-Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings


  1. I'm not going to be anal and try to dissect that comment, but language is a very large concept. Anyway I understand why Angelou says that. It's beautiful :)

  2. I understand. I had a little argument with myself before posting it - but I really like the idea she is trying to convey and the scene in which it takes place is touching.

    Thanks for not dissecting it too much :)

  3. I have an ongoing debate with my husband as to whether or not animals have feelings. He argues (if I can paraphrase correctly) that while they have NEEDS - mating, hunger, packs, solitude, thirst, survival - they do not have emotions, because EMOTIONS, as we think of them, are based on language, which animals do not have. I don't really agree - I think an animal missing its mate is more than just a need for reproduction - but the idea that language is the basis of everything we feel is an interesting one.

  4. Almost entirely unrelated by Angelou's quote made me think of it - I watched a documentary about Bonobo Apes the other day and it was fascinating. They share something like 99.6% (or maybe it was 96%? - anyway, a lot) of our DNA and can communicate using sigh language and symbols. THe keeper actually said to one of them who was rolling around "Will you please sit up" - a complete sentence - and the ape understood her and did what it was asked. Amazing.

    Sorry for the sidetrack!

  5. Kerry, I've got to side with you on that one.

    Becky, I enjoy the sidetrack! I find that fascinating.