WordSmart is probably the most familiar and well known to us of all the intelligences. Most of us spend the majority of time during our waking hours using WordSmart.
It is one of the main emphases of all of our systems of public education. It involves all forms of working with language, such as the ability to read the newspaper, a novel, and labels on products we buy.
It includes the ability to write essays, poetry, reports, letters, formal speaking before an audience, and informal conversation with a friend.
And it involves listening the words of another person and being able to understand what they are both saying and intending to communicate.
How many of the following are true for you?
You have highly developed skills for reading, speaking, and writing, and you tend to think in words.
You like various kinds of literature, playing word games, and making up poetry and stories.
You love getting into involved discussions with other people or debating others.
You enjoy creative writing and formal speaking.
You have skill at remembering and telling jokes.
You are precise in expressing yourself and irritated when others are not.
You love learning new words, you do well with written assignments.
Your comprehension of anything you read is high.
Think for a moment about the miracle of language! As a species, there was a time when our human verbal communication was exclusively a matter of grunts, groans, screams, other sounds produced by our vocal chords.
In our individual human development we start out much the same way, communicating our needs through grunts groans, infant babbling and cooing, and yes, also often screaming at the top of our lungs in an effort to get our needs met.
How does this primordial cacophony transform itself into the high-level, subtle linguistic ability that we almost take for granted in our society?
How do we move from grunts, groans, and babblings to the acquisition of such sophisticated skills as eloquent public speaking, the ability to produce a wide range of literature--poetry, drama, essays, epic stories--which deeply touch the lives of other people?
How do we learn to interpret various abstract scratching written on a piece of paper as meaningful communication from others?