Rehashing “What Say You”.

Last week I posted on the subject of vocabulary and the apparent conundrum I happened to be caught up in at work. I wanted to re-visit this because I have seen a variety of responses to this post causing me to perhaps, make some clarifying assertions.

1. Regardless of where we are in our journey of expanding our vocabulary, at no time should we use language purposefully to demean, denigrate or in any way belittle someone.

2. I believe in drawing others up and also being drawn up myself, that is to say that I want to continue learning both as an exercise in growth and as a means of edification. Drawing others up is perhaps a bit more sublime. There is a balance between using language to encourage a greater depth and understanding, and simply being a show-off. As one of the comment’s alluded to sometimes others will feel as if someone is being show-offy rather than simply trying to make a point with the vocabulary they are comfortable with.

3. Speaking to your audience: If you are talking to children, a conscious effort should obviously be made to speak in such a way, that they can understand you, but allow me this caveat, this is also an opportunity for children to grow their own vocabulary,Ā  so using some words that may be at the edge of their comprehension isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Again it is an area of balance.

All this to say that I believe it is important to utilize and expand the words we use. One area in particular that I find this extremely important is in meanings, today so many times we slip into slang or carelessly utilize words and in the process skew or even obliterate their meanings altogether. Words like love, cool, awesome have been marginalized in my opinion, to a point where writing has become more difficult. This is a topic perhaps for another post.

All this to say I like using more complex words at times… no disrespect intended.



About JT

I am a happily married man with 6 children and have an autoimmune disease. I hope to share my story and explore others' stories and perhaps together both of our lives will be enhanced.
This entry was posted in Creative Writing, introspection, Just Because and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Rehashing “What Say You”.

  1. Here, Here! Take Care & Have a Great Day:)

  2. Donald Miller says:

    “at no time should we use language purposefully to demean, denigrate or in any way belittle someone.”

    Oh, I can think of many times we can, and should, do that. Two words: Louis Farrakhan.

    This topic of language you’ve begun here, has inspired me to make a place for it on The Weekly. I’m thinking ahead. There’s not enough of a readership right now, but there may be some day. So I’m getting the section developed with that goal in mind.

    I refer back to the use of an appositive statement, a word or phrase placed after another word to explain or identify it, in teaching children–or each other–how to expand our vocabularies.

    • JT says:

      I would be interested to discuss this further as to whether or not I agree with you on this. Perhaps we are thinking along different lines and therefore the applications for such that I have in mind may be misconstrued if taken from a different perspective. The other question that enters into the mix here is whether or not we should , not necessarily whether or not we do use language that way, ie to take someone to task who has infringed on justice, would be a different application than correcting a 3 year old on a couple of levels.

      • Donald Miller says:

        Okay. That’s cool, man. I love the post. It’s awesome, bro. šŸ˜‰

        Hey, just thought I’d let you know that there is a huge interest and great conversations taking place on “The Debate Over How We Got here” page at the magazine. Drop by and leave a line. It looks like it’s going to take on a life of its own before too long, which is something that would be nice.

      • JT says:

        Thanks Donald, Yes I looked at it briefly but at the moment there is a lot going on . I am looking forward to investigating the post and the discussion šŸ™‚

      • Donald Miller says:

        “Words like love, cool, awesome have been marginalized. . .”

        Hey JT. I can tell you’re busy. I used the words, “cool,” “love,” and “awesome” in an attempt at humour. But it’s groovy if it didn’t work. (Now there’s a truly meaningless word, groovy.)

      • JT says:

        šŸ˜€ sorry, My next post will shed some light on recent developments, it won’t explain my apparent missing of the humor cues.

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