Be Careful Little Child What You Say

Words. Words are everywhere. We use them every day. A lot of the time though, we don’t use them correctly. I am guilty of this too. Probably every single day I use a word that I don’t know the full meaning for, even in this blog post, I most likely couldn’t tell you the definition of all the words I use. Now there is something to be said for having an instinct. As you become more familiar with a language, you can use words correctly in a sentence without knowing their full meaning. I know there is no way to pause and think about the full meaning of everything you say before you say it, but we should take a few seconds to think about what we are saying; we need to be more careful with our words.

The words that cause people to say what they don’t mean the most are expressions. Now I can be a very literal person if I want to, and most expressions are not meant to be taken literally, but I still think before you use an expression you need to stop and think. For instance, has anyone ever told you that “something funny happened to me the other day” and then proceeded to tell you an incredibly dull story? It irks me. If they actually thought that it was funny, but it wasn’t, then that would be fine (that happens to me all the time). But they don’t think its funny. Its just a way for them to justify telling you a story. Whenever people do this to me I just laugh at the end of the story. Not because I think that their misused expression is funny, or because I want others to laugh with me, but because I want them to feel the awkwardness. It’s kind of harsh, but I want them to think about why I laughed and to be more careful with their language. Another expression that bothers me, and to people who have a problem with swearing I apologize in advance, is fuck that shit. I get this expression, because in a bad situation, I too often have the urge to have sex with a piece of poop. Is that what you want to say? This expression is just swearing for fun. Not for any meaning or added significance, but just because it can. There are tons of other expressions out there that don’t actually make sense when you think about them for more than two seconds. My point? Think a little bit about what you are going to say, or you will end up sounding like an idiot.

On a much more important note, words have power. Whoever coined the expression “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was lying to themselves. Words can hurt. Deeply. There are people who never recover from words that they heard as a child. Be careful with yours. Every human being has immense power. They have the power to permanently maim, or to heal the maimed. This power comes from their words. What are yours doing?





2 thoughts on “Be Careful Little Child What You Say

  1. Michael,
    I myself have the problem of taking peoples statements too literally, and ending up more than a little irked and just plain frustrated with people. The way you discuss how nonsensical common popular phrases are is highly entertaining and I found myself cracking up a few times over how right you were on how many phrases we use that don’t make much sense when taken literally. Using humor to then go on into talking about the serious impact of words is a great way to introduce the topic without sounding patronizing. One thing to look at might be the way you break up your paragraphs; in accordance with what each paragraph is talking about, they work out well, but the large middle paragraph looks a tad intimidating.
    Great Job 🙂


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