Thursday, May 23, 2013

The power of words



I don't think any of us doubt the power of words. As writers we seek to use that power to convey the emotions we explore.  Yet, what about our casual words, the ones that just jump out of our mouths, or our fingers as we type?   Have they ever had unexpected power?  Do your posts sometimes have consequences you didn't anticipate?  Do you ever wish you could rewrite, revise, edit and otherwise polish the words you speak? 

Words are powerful.  They can hurt or heal and we should be careful and thoughtful how we use them.  But even more so than words, we are powerful.  Someone can choose to use their words against us.  And those words may make us hurt, may cause problems in our lives, but we can choose how to respond to them.  We can choose not to be hurt. 


Careful with your words.  You don't always know the impact they can have.

25 comments:

  1. Nice reminder! I'm a lot more careful with my words when I'm writing (or typing, as the case may be). When I'm speaking, I'm more likely to fire off a sarcastic retort, but I don't do that as often in written form. Probably because it's difficult to make sure my written words carry the spirit of intention that my tone, expression, or body language help to make clear.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me... remember that childhood rhyme when kids teased one another?
    It's so not true. Words can hurt... even more than sticks/stones...

    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that rhyme too. And I totally agree with you Mich.

      Delete
  3. Very true, Sara. I wrote a post about the falsehood of the old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones. . ."

    ReplyDelete
  4. So true to be careful with what we say. For me, it's mostly the spoken word with my family. It's easy to just say whatever you feel in anger with those you feel most comfortable with, at least for me. I need to remember that those kind of words hurt. Thanks for reminding us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So very true! I think it's a good idea to be cognizant of what we're writing, especially in today's "Digital/Everything's on display" age.

    Great reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wrote about this once, months ago. As writers, I believe we wield a very mighty sword in the form of words-- whether it be through novels, articles, blog posts or even our verbal words. We're very aware of their ability to make people feel things-- hurt, sorrow, joy, longing, even love. We can offer thoughts, opinions. Historically speaking, writers have changed cultures over time-- we've changed views on feminism, racism, equality, and many other culture-changing stances. But with that comes, as you said, incredible responsibility and consideration when we choose those words. Important post here today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very true. And now our words become permanent here on the interwebz. You hear these stories about young people and the internet. Yike!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So true. Unfortunately I don't think the majority of people outside the writing world realize just how powerful they can be. Words can sometimes be the difference between life and death.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's why the older I get, the less I talk. It would be great -- sometimes -- to edit what you say.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can scar us forever. In a war of words, everyone loses.

    Communicating via the written word (blog posts, emails, Facebook status updates, Tweets, etc.) scares me. It conveys no inflections, body language, tone, facial expressions or the many other cues we draw upon to derive the true intent behind the words. A most innocent statement can be completely misconstrued.

    In this age of microwave media, we must always proof our words.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My mother always said be careful what you speak because once it's out you can never take it back.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Words do have incredible impact. Your right though, we can choose how we let them affect us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post, S.P.! It's so easy to forget the wrath of a wild tongue. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm super careful with the words I put anywhere online...it's the spoken variety that slip out sometimes, making me want to suck them back in. Thank goodness there's such a thing as forgiveness. I need it often.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well said. Words have the power to elevate... or to crush. That's pretty heady power, and we should always remember to wield it wisely.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So true. It's much easier to think before you speak than to try to undo the damage of carelessly spoken words.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Extremely true! I try to be careful with words all the time, and sometimes things slip. That's why I write better than speak, because I have a chance to think about what I'm going to say first. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. The words that drive me to distraction - and the giggles - are the ones I STOP before my fingers can press send on a text or email.

    (I use the speech program to talk my texts out - much quicker, but I ALWAYS have to proof read, because my "smart" phone doesn't always understand my accent.

    E.g. the other day I was responding to a simple email from a fellow (female) blogger.

    I can't remember the exact words, but I *nearly* sent "OK, thanks and I can't wait to be with you, either."

    That *would* have been soooooo bad, but it was funny, too:)

    The Pen is mightier than the Sword - Oh yes, it is :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very true. I learned this when I was younger, but it's always good to remember. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great post and a timely reminder! Thanks.

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
  21. I tend to put my foot in my mouth often... For instance the other day I said something like "I remember hating my parents talking about me above my head to other adults when I was a kid."
    The trouble is, I happened to say this just as my SiL had finished doing exactly that about my niece. But I didn't mean it as an indictment of her - all parents will always do this - I just suddenly remembered the feeling!
    Must think before I speak :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. When I'm speaking, my words get misconstrued a lot (especially by my family!) and that has to do with the tone etc as well. Sometimes they think I'm being sarcastic when I was trying to be sincere. :P At least when writing them down, you can go over them, but they still could be interpreted in any way by anyone, which is both fantastic and frightening!

    ReplyDelete