Thursday, December 1, 2011

three words forward, two words back

Language is to me like a large pizza is to my 14-year-old son. When I was growing up I read books until I had headaches. On trips mom would bring a Reader's Digest and would turn "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power" into a family competition (which she always won). Part of the decor in our living room was a dictionary. In conversation, if a word came up that caused us to argue the pronunciation or the meaning, one of my parents would grab the dictionary to prove who was correct. In college I took a linguistics class that I found way too exciting. I loved the lesson on tongue placement for each letter. Who cares about that? One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a 20-pound set of Greek and Hebrew dictionaries. So why is it that I'm so good with words, but I said something completely insensitive to my friend last night? Why can I spell salpingo-oophorectomy (medical transcription!), but I can shoot off an email that tears somebody down? The Bible says every word of God is flawless. His words are light and life and sustenance. It really would pay to increase my word power.

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