Words, in every language, have meaning. It’s why we have dictionaries, you know? Sometimes we hear or read a word and are not sure we know the meaning, so it helps to go to a dictionary (or Google) and check it out.
I’m NOT trying to be cute.
As a writer, words are very very important to me. Their usage and precise meaning is vital to what I do and the difference between doing it well or sucking at it. How do I know when I am sucking at it? When my meaning is unclear or incomprehensible to others. Now sometimes it isn’t my fault. Communication, by definition, requires more than one person. I may be making myself perfectly clear, and the other person isn’t on the same wavelength. Maybe they just don’t care enough to make the effort at comprehension or . . . whatever. In that case, once I realize that I am not getting through, I will often try to rephrase my meaning, or if it plainly is a case of disinterest on the part of the listener (or reader) I will shrug and change the subject or simply just walk away.
There is a host of other aspects to communication breakdown besides meaning that can radically alter the efficiency of the process. There is context, connotation, tone and more that I don’t feel like listing now. Those other facets are not the main purpose of this article. The main purpose is in the title. It is the problem when we ignore the simple fact that words have meanings.
If I tell you that I like something, don’t come back to me later (or report it to someone else) that I said I loved it. If I tell you that I dislike something, don’t come back later and quote me as saying that it disgusts me. If I love something, then I’ll say so. If something disgusts me, I’ll do likewise. Love and disgust are very strong emotions (see Don’t Make Me Mad!) and as such they deserve, nay DEMAND, expression as such. It’s a major Pet Peeve of mine and definitely a product of my avocation as a writer.
But be a Mensch and don’t diss anyone this way–writer or not . . .. Remember that good old Golden Rule, eh?
I think I have that out of my system now.
Thanks for letting me share.