I love words. Have we talked about this before? Stop me if you’ve heard this. Oh. Wait. You can’t. Mwahahahahah!
Ahem. I love words. I love words because they have a spectrum, like light. If you can appreciate the difference between shades of blue like aqua, turquoise, periwinkle and twilight, you can surely appreciate the difference between words that are sort of the same but evoke different impressions.
Something that frustrates me is when a person gives a word too much power. Example of this in the last few weeks: progress, growth, teaching, karma, lesson and (gasp!) clean.
People know it’s illogical, but that particular word just leaves a bad taste in their mouth and they’d rather I didn’t use it.
Milder forms of this phenomena occur when I have to spend 15 minutes explaining my word, the sense I’m using it in, and clarifying the gestalt I have attached to the word. I’m longwinded enough as it is, I don’t need help.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to be sensitive to words. God knows I occasionally obsess about how to refer to my stepson. (Is he our son? Is he my husband’s son?) Is he simply my step-son? (a word which I hate, for while being clear nevertheless almost physically removes him from my circle of intimates. It implies (to me) a complete emotional separation and only circumstantial ties.) But, I still use it out of expendience, while still keeping my eyes open for more congenial term.
You see? Nuanced. Non-confrontational. Undefensive. For goodness sake, they’re only representations of things that cannot be wholly described — thoughts.
So play with them, explore them, but don’t let their usage have the power to wound you. They’re only words