Words, Words, Words…

Words, words, words…

I love words.  I love the way they sing in my ears, or sometimes even stomp through my brain.  I love the way they roll around on my tongue.  I love the soothing caresses they carry, but also the powerful wallops they can pack.

Words, words, words.

I once had a writing student from Hungary who told me how much he loved to write in English.  “There are so many words from which to choose,” he told me.  “A pretty girl can be adorable or beautiful or gorgeous or lovely or stunning or cute.  In Hungarian she just looks good.”

Words, words, words.

Problem is, there are so many words from which to choose.  And unless we pick just the right ones, the wrong ideas stomp through readers’ brains and wallop them with unexpected mind pictures.

Some years ago, my husband and I got to know an extremely modest and proper graduate student from then-Yugoslavia who was studying computer science at the university near us.  Marko’s English was quite good, but he struggled with “American.”   As his vocabulary grew, he was always excited to display it to us.  One evening when he came for dinner, he met me at the door with a formal bow.  “I learned two new American words today,” he said proudly. 

I told him that was wonderful and asked what the new words might be.

“Yummy and yucky,” Marko said.  He bowed again, his hands folded politely.  Then he added,  “And might I say, you look most yummy tonight.”

Words, words, words. 

So wonderful.  Filled with such outsized possibilities.  So very treacherous.

“Kind Words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Mother Teresa

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Words, Words, Words…

  1. Enjoyed your passion about words. It is wonderful how word choice can altars meanings in such subtle ways.

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