The Power of Words

I love scrabble, even more then scrabble, I love boggle. Word searches are ok, crosswords can be fun, upwords takes scrabble to another level, and today someone was telling me how I would like a word game called Quiddle, which I have never heard of. Words are one of the most important parts of communication and therefore understanding.

We grow up told things like “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I always preferred the “sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me” version better :) . At least the later was funny where as the former is just blatantly untrue.

Vocabulary is getting smaller and smaller. Experts say the average person uses only 5000 words on a regular basis. The average person uses the same 5000 words over and over again. It reminds me of the science fiction book 1984 where their idea of the perfect languages was one with no redundancy so there goal was to make the dictionary smaller and smaller. For example, take the words: beautiful, stunning, pretty, sexy, and hot. All these words are used to convey the message that the object is nice to look at so they would replace the list of words with one word and discontinue the use of all other words that meant nice to look at. Sure, the denotations of the words are similar, but the connotations are very different.

So word games, sticks and stones, and vocabulary, what is the significance?

Words are power. Corporate deals are made over dinner using words in a restaurant or a board room. Parents teach their children morals, children teach their pets to sit or stay, and friends grow friendships – all this over because of words.

Lack of words are just as powerful. I often make sure I chose the right word to speak or write about a certain concept, but the truth is, what you don’t say is just as important. Not using racial, gender, or other slurs says a lot about a person. Lack of talking to kids about drugs, sex, relationships, honesty, friendships, school, and life have quite an effect and usually not in a good way. Not saying I love you at the right time is just as powerful as saying it at the right time.

As humans, we tend to say a lot. Kids grow up learning to think before they talk, chose their words carefully, but very little thought goes into what remains unsaid. We don’t say things for many reasons like not thinking of it, not knowing how to express it, being afraid to express it, or not wanting to talk. You can bottle your feelings and bite your tongue and not say something because you are not “supposed” to say it, or not say anything simply because you are too tired to fight anymore.

There is a whole other world laying in the unsaid. Unspoken love, unspoken friendships, unspoken life. Pay attention to what people aren’t saying because that could totally change the meaning on what they are saying.

Adrienne :)

  • Share/Bookmark

2 Responses to “The Power of Words”

  1. John says:

    I have a few words, I would like to say to you. Nice article very powerful.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Thank you John.

    Adrienne :)

Leave a Reply