I was going to talk about my parents’ 36th wedding anniversary that was yesterday and how I was wallowing in self-pity. But I got over myself. I’m single. So what?
I ran into a map (click to look at it and I didn’t really run into it, someone had it on Facebook and I just happened to click.) about the different ways or different things Americans call things. It’s amazing to me the different ways to say one thing, especially in one country. It’s even more amazing to me how much power words have over us. Now I’ve talked about this before. I like words. I think the correct use of language is going down the toobs. There are few people who give me hope that language will be used correctly but for the most part booooo! But yes, I do have a small love affair with language and am fascinated where words come from and how words from different languages are similar.
Do you know where the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s” came from? Back a long time ago, I believe in the Middle Ages, they would serve Pints and Quarts in the pubs in England and when people started getting rowdy, the barkeep would say “mind your p’s and q’s” or “mind your pints and quarts”.
Not only am fascinated where language came from or how it evolves, I really am fascinated how different groups or individuals use words. Hence me mentioning before that map. For example fish and chips here in North Dakota is totally different from Great Britain. How did that happen? Now here’s what I really want to talk about. How an individual uses words for their benefit.
We all have heard (or at least most of us) the saying about the sticks and the stone hurting us but words will never hurt us. I hate that this phrase is such a cliché and it’s a complete lie. If that cliché wasn’t a lie, then we wouldn’t have bullied kids committing suicide. We would be a happier society probably.
This is how I see it. Some people are like the movie “Mean Girls” (Not always girls but girls are really good at this) use words and actions to get their way or to get ahead in the world. I think we can all agree that this isn’t right. Then there’s the people who the Mean Girls walk all over. And their lives aren’t so great. I don’t know that, but I’m assuming.
The sad thing, in my eyes, is that there are a lot of people who don’t understand or see how their words trigger something in the intended target. And this doesn’t only apply to negative words but to positive words. “I hate you” has a great effect and so does “I love you”. Either phrase can change a person’s day and they might be said off the cuff. Not only is the day of the recipient of the words changed but the sayer has no idea what they have just done. Think about if you knew how every thing you said made a person feel. I think if we knew, we’d be a lot more cautious with our words. I think words are thrown about will nilly.
The reason I’m thinking about this is because I have a tendency to over-analyze a conversation or choice of words. A few posts ago I talked about how one of my consigners joked that “Bowman is where the spinsters go”. The second that he said it, I didn’t think anything about it. I thought it was a joke. He might have meant it as a joke or was maybe just making conversation, but this man should have never said that. First of all, doesn’t know if I’m married or not. Second, how does he know that I’m not tortured about being single? (I’m really not by the way) So I over-analyze things.
I just ask that people think before they speak and to build up and not tear down. It’s hard to see the good things in life through the rubble. And I think as bloggers, we understand this.
P.S. I will be talking about language for the rest of my life, on the blog and in real life. So deal with it.