Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
The Way We Use Words August 23, 2007
One of the things I have been thinking about, as I wait for our National and State Legislators to stop squabbling and get down to the work they have been elected to do, is the use of words in the reporting of news, our talking with one another, and the speech making that goes on. My dilemna is demonstrated in two old sayings, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." and "Loose lips sink ships."
We know that we use words in all sorts of ways and for many purposes, they make us laugh, they make us cry and they persuade (sell?) us many things. The meaning of words change, for instance a word can find fault or the same word can flatter us. Interestingly to me, word meaning changes depending upon a tone of voice or the setting in which the word is used. A sideways comment is the meaning of the word "no". Some times the word means what it says, other times it seems to mean, "well whatever".
And then, there two other sayings, "Actions speak louder than words." and "Put your money where your mouth is." which illustrates to me the fact that we have overworked our language so that it has lost its power. I think that the reason for that is that in every walk of life are the communication specialists, the speech writers, the people who write advertisments for television, radio, letters and newspapers, persons who are skilled in using words, writing phrases and putting forth arguments for a cause or a person or a commercial venture,who write pretty words for others. These are the "hidden" people that we rarely see, but read or see or hear their works.
Because of such usage, words have lost power. This is is illustrated by the sales pitch trying to get us buy the product and then says, "we really care for you." Give me a break, they don't care about us, they want our money!
This is a real saddle sore for me. The words that fill life come from all sorts of places. If a word in a sentence is missed, the purpose of the conversation is lost. Sometimes when the words "bury" us, we just turn them off, now not deliberately, but the ears stop listening. We need to stop embellishing our sentences with extraneous words. Good communicating is saying what we mean as simply at possible.
Radio and TV stations put out a flood of words that the purposes are lost in too much speaking. There is so much advertising these days that I wonder if we don't just turn them off and often miss something that is important. The interuption of several commercials in the middle of a television program often lose the information in the program.
Finally in this tirade, words need to count. Our politicians certainly don't seem to understand that what we need from them is words that help us live good lives. They spend words on telling us what is wrong or. how terrible their opponents are. They seem only to be able to provide words that throw money at our needs instead of helping us with our problems. We are a people who can solve our own problems and help other people with theirs if we have the support to do that. We know what the questions are, we are continually told that but, what are the answers?
Created by. Last Modification: Sunday 26 of August, 2007 19:30:26 UTC by .