“The difference be-tween the almost right word and the right word is…the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain
Misunderstandings occur daily in our feeble attempts to convey information or feelings based on the limited knowledge of the English Language. This very day men will stop to buy flowers, chocolates, or some other gift on their way home from work. Why? They said, or texted some-thing – with good intentions – that communicated the wrong message. Hallmark just says it better. So they reach deep into their wallets to clean up the toxic word spill, with foot in mouth, endeavoring to keep their heads and their hearts.
Just how difficult is it to find the right word to impart your meaning? According to Global Language Monitor (GLM), there were 1,025,109.8 words in the English Language as of January 1, 2014. (What is a 0.8 word? I’m confused already. Is that like having 2.5 children? Either we have the whole word or we don’t!),
www.languagemonitor.com says a new word occurs every 98 minutes, which is about 14.7 words birthed per day. It’s no wonder we have a difficult time filtering through all of the many possibilities. As if a million plus words wasn’t baffling enough, now, we have to find time to familiarize ourselves with an additional 102.9 words each week, along with their varied meanings and usages!
Jeff Foxworthy may have the right idea, “Here’s your sign!” With all the confusion over words, maybe a sign will help. A picture, valued at 1,000 words, alone. Sometimes (in the language of Huck Finn) “words just ain’t enough”.
Debbie Wantulok, http://whitecountycreativewriters.org/debbiewantulok.html is currently Secretary of White County Creative Writers, and is the author of a series of children’s books centered around the teachings of Christ http://www.zippykids.net/
This post was featured in WCCW’s current newsletter. Thanks, Debbie, for letting me use it this week!