Choosing Words

I see words as colors and shapes.  Choosing the right word or phrase is at the heart of good and effective communication.


People throw around words that are neon bright.  They use them as throwaway pieces of a story or statement, never realizing that those are the words people remember.


Words like “hate”, as in “Everybody hates them”.  Like “everybody”, as in “Everybody hates them”.  “Everybody” generally means “me”, and “hate”, generally means, “I’m irritated at this moment”.


See what I mean?  “Nobody” works the same way, and so does “best” and “worst”. 


The new one I hear more every day is “deserve”.  As in “I deserve this”, or “I don’t deserve this”.


I happened to see an episode of a reality show recently, and in it one of the characters (I hesitate to call them real people) said, “My mother has no right to be upset about my DIU.  It’s my DIU, and I’m the only one who deserves to be upset about it.”




I shudder to think that we’ve gotten to the place where we’re selfish about who gets to be upset about our bad behavior and law breaking.


Let’s be clear-there’s very little we truly deserve.  That container is a whole lot smaller than the one that holds what we earn


So, kids, let’s choose our words carefully.  If we say, “everybody”, it better be every single person.  “Nobody” means not…one…person.  “Hate” is one we can just agree not to use, okay?


And “deserve”, or “don’t deserve”?  How about we substitute “earn” and “didn’t earn”?


Because everybody hates it when you use words you don’t deserve to use.