Lewis

11:39:00 PM

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

C.S. Lewis

Every now and then I think we could all use a little C.S. Lewis.  I saw this quote the other day when I was at work and just sort of fell in love with it. Its rare that I come across a quote that hasn't been overused and manipulated a million different ways so it was a nice change to come across something I hadn't read yet. It got me thinking about words and how sometimes we just spit them out without thinking (most of the time, actually, if you're anything like me) and I don't want to ramble on with a lecture about how we should think before we speak or how we should make sure we're always using words correctly because I don't know if I full-heartedly agree with either of those things. We should think long and hard before we every say a malicious or unkind or demeaning word. But I don't think we should ever stop ourselves from expressing gratitude or kindness or love. "Never suppress a generous thought."  And I think its silly to say that each word has one meaning and that we should only use it to express that meaning. Part of the beauty of English is that it is so malleable. We can change nouns into verbs, we can mess with traditional meaning and it can work pretty well. I don't think we should construe meaning just for the sake of being facetious or obscure but I think there are times when certain words just work better than the correct ones.

I guess the point of this, then, is just to say that words matter, and that they shape the way we think and they affect the way we interact with others. This is all going to seem very biased from an English major but I just think there is something pretty powerful about knowing your own language, something pretty cool about being able to say what you think in a way that does the original thought justice. And the best part is that you don't need school to show you how. 


and for those of you who lose all motivation to read a blog post that doesn't have pictures attached, I'm sorry.

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