Is it arguable that pictures describe objects better than words? I need help deciding.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Whenever you encounter any issues deciding between one thing or another, take the historical route.

History has made it evident that, while not everybody is capable of painting a picture, drawing, sketching, or photographing something properly, it is a universal skill to describe and transfer the emotion of what we experience through our senses through words.

Think about the power that ancient poetry, meditations, anecdotes, stories, novels, and plays have over other forms of art. This is because the words trigger the reader's imagination by producing all of the imagery that only can be experienced when we connect deeply to what we read or hear being described. This is called catharsis.

On the other hand, painters and artists who create imagery through paintings, drawings, or sketches are gifted in their art but they do not just describe the world that they see: they are actually communicating HOW they see this world. The woman (or man) who posed in front of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa may or may not have the same likeness of what we see in the picture. Even photographers of the highest caliber take a picture in a way in which nobody else would because they know the specific angle that they should wait for in order for the picture to convey emotion. It is a gifted task, and one that is nearly impossible to replicate. Therefore, what the artist gives us in pictures is not meant to describe, but to inspire. Words do the same thing, but they can expand meaning through semantics.

In conclusion, words and pictures offer the same opportunity to understand the world around us; however, pictures (ironically) can only give us one side of the entire story behind an object. Words are the elements of communication.

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