Everyone is always ‘here’. Wherever you go, you always take your ‘here’ with you – as long as you are alive and conscious, a place where you have said ‘here’ becomes a place ‘there’ when you have moved away from it.
‘Here’ in Europe and ‘there’ in America or ‘here’ in America and ‘there’ in Europe – the essential ‘here and now’ stays with the speaker. Words have their meanings, yet part the meaning of a word is its reference, and this may change.
Reference can become actually quite dominant. For example, travel and locomotion happen to require a surface. Trains may, however, leave on an hour, a walking tour may be organized on a day – let us say, Monday. Having started your trip one place, you end it another, remaining yourself ‘here’. You could walk into a room and see a book on a table – a book on fine language arts.
Although your trip may start a place very distant from the one you end it, you do not say ‘Now I’m there’, unless you want to go stylistic or metaphorical. Although an hour, a day, or fine language arts are not surfaces, you can use the preposition on. Reference resolves on meaning. The words remain of exactly the same shape and sound – what they refer to becomes different.
Language obviously could not be a set of options anyone might just memorize. You often get information from it not taking its elements literal, moreover – you could not stand on a day as your surface. Speaking is operating pools of language information. Importantly, you need to see yourself as part the pool.
Nope, I do not advocate narcissism (narcism for short). I want to be an advocate of language autonomy, however. My point is not about countries or irredentist language communities. My argument is about the need for the individual ‘here and now’ to tell the reference. The past, the present, and the future would loose their meaning without the ‘here and now’. With the ‘here and now’, the present continues to turn into the past and the future into the present. Memorization could not be the answer.
‘Travelers in Grammar – The Whole Journey’
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