I’ve been working on my writing a lot lately. Studying the tricks of the trade and trying to learn how to best craft a story. It’s amazing how simple little things, like the difference between saying hand and wrist or the order of words makes such a huge difference. It’s also interesting how fat and loose we play with words these days. I’m guilty of this myself. I love stretching words outside their comfort zone to creatively communicate an idea. It got me thinking, we rationalize our lack of accuracy and disciple with language with things like “you know what I mean”. Typically that works because they do. However the more we employ this generalization it seems the less we actually know what we mean. Communication becomes convoluted because we carelessly toss around ideas and thoughts without considering their meaning. We say things we don’t mean and often don’t know how to put what we do mean to words. One day we will get to the point where people don’t know what we mean. We won’t have the invested relationship for them to extend to us the grace of understanding and we will be forced to try and figure out our way through words again.
What happens when our communication breaks down? Nothing good. Wile my point is not that we should all become wordsmiths there is something we need. We need to be careful what we say. Words are powerful things. Just because we use them lightly does not mean the have a light effect. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we face in our lives is learning to master and tame our tongue.