I read this book, In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri and decided to pick up a quote from the same for today’s word, because I don’t think anyone, let alone myself, can define in such depth the meaning attached to ‘vernacular’.
“In America, when I was young, my parents always seemed to be in mourning for something. Now I understand: it must have been the language. Forty years ago it want easy for them to talk to their families on the phone. They looked forward to the mail. They couldn’t wait for a letter to arrive from Calcutta, written in Bengali. They read it a hundred times, they saved it. Those letters evoked their language and conjured a life that had disappeared. When the language one identifies with is far away, one does everything possible to keep it alive. Because words bring back everything: the place, the people, the life, the streets, the light, the sky, the flowers, the sounds. When you live without your own language you feel weightless and, a the same time, overloaded. You breathe another type of air, at a different altitude. You are always aware of the difference.”