Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Words

While Andrew and I have been apart, we have relied almost exclusively on one form of communication: writing letters. What a slow and tedious process! The effort it takes to write each word, to spell it correctly without using spell check, to think about what I actually WANT to say before I start writing...the process has felt arduous at times.

And yet never before have I said so clearly what I mean to say. Not something close to it. Not the first cliche phrase that comes to mind so as to avoid (God forbid!) awkward silence. But what I actually mean to say.

What a bad steward of language I am. Language! One of God's most magnanimous gifts. The English language! So rich in history that it would include the King James Bible. And yet I settle for my good, great and cools. As if no experience would ever merit a more prolific word. Not to mention my likes, ya knows and whatevers--just to make sure I never make a distinction someone might be able to argue with. And I won't even mention my hyperboles (how many times have I said I am going to kill something?).

How I want to care more for words. To be someone who speaks with clarity and precision. That may mean learning a few new words, reading a few more good (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word) books and processing things a little slower, but I believe these things matter. Language matters. Being able to say what we mean matters.

I hope that I can learn to be a better steward of language. And if not of language, then at least of silence where, as Marilyn Chandler McEntrye writes, "the best words begin."

1 comment:

Officer said...

"good" words Lynds...I need to start studying vocab! Miss you!