Words Matter

I like words. I am fascinated with the etymology (how they came to be) of words. I think it’s neat that NASA and other scientists can create new words for their creations. Every year there are new words added to our language due to changes in technology.

I don’t appreciate the fact that perfectly innocent words can be taken from us and changed into something you would NOT say anymore. This is etymology too, but not the good kind. No longer would you refer to a carefree innocent child running through a field of flowers as happy and gay. Now that is a sad loss of a lovely little word. But it’s gone, I suppose, for good. I don’t think that even righteously claiming that “to the pure all things are pure” is going to give you license to use the term freely anymore. It’s too bad, really.

Back to the fun part of words, though. Why is it when we sing that song Oh, It Is Wonderful do we say, “inexpressibly sweet”? But when we turn the verb express into an adjective we say expressive? Why do we use a b in one word and a v in the other? I suppose there’s a rule and I should know it; but I don’t. I just notice and it looks inconsistent to me yet I enjoy it. I wonder how much of our language is the way it is because we like how it sounds and we don’t give two hoots about rules. We end up adding “exceptions” because we just like it better that way.

Then there are family words. These are words that get created for whatever reason and come into common use among family members. One of our girls coined the word sopolloro. It means Pharisee-ism mostly with our own little twist which I don’t think I’ll be able to explain to you. But the children’s spouses are catching on to what we mean as we use it now and then. I suppose your family has a few words too, that nobody else gets. We have had discussions on how that word should be spelled, but the creator thereof insists that it is the way I have spelled it here. I don’t suppose that it will ever be listed in the Oxford Unabridged Dictionary; but, no matter, it works for us.

Words matter. They can hurt or heal depending on how we use them. My downfall with words is using them to express an opinion only to hear myself being “quoted” to sound rather heartless and unkind when my intent was not that strong. I must always keep in mind that I don’t have control over what happens to my words once they leave my mouth. Saying words is only half the equation. I can’t really make you hear them just as I wish. 

May our lives be such that our words are pure enough to bless our hearers hearts, always.

Comments

  1. Ah yes, those words that leave our mouths and wind up meaning something different than we hoped we meant...

    On a lighter vein, I was working on an assigment as a second grader. The instructions were to make some new words. I completely missed the point that I was supposed to be using the same letters or whatever to spell existing "new" words. I made up a set of my own. No, they didn't have definitions, but they were creative. The teacher wasn't too excited, but I thought I was doing the right thing.

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  2. I still like the one that Ryan made up when he was 2-3...he wanted to cuzzle with me!! Ha...those days are past and gone!!

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