Intentional Language

glamour MaliaLately I have noticed how lazy I have become with the words that I use. Truthfully, I have noticed it in most of the people around me as well but it’s not my place to tell them how to speak so I’m only going to address myself. There are many words in our language that have very deep, heavy, significant meanings and I’m guilty of using them in such flippant and non-chalant ways that it really seems to have cheapened their meaning. Our language is so rich with creative and powerful words, it’s a shame that some get used with such regularity that we I seem to have forgotten their intented usage. Specifically I’m referring to: love, hate and awesome.

If you I really ponder it, telling my husband, “I love you!” in one breath and then exclaiming, “I love chocolate!” in the next either deflates my love for my husband to the level of chocolate or elevates my love of chocolate to the level of my husband. I’m not sure which is worse. I don’t really love chocolate*. I enjoy chocolate. I fawn over chocolate. I’m very snobby discerning about chocolate though in a pinch will eat lower forms of it. But I do not truly love it. I love God, I love my husband, I love my children, I love my family and my friends. And from now on, that is the only way I will use the word “love”.

Hate, the polar opposite of love, is another very strong and very overused word. Hate makes my skin crawl. I’m not really sure that there is anything, other than sin, that I can say that I hate. I will never say that I hate another person. I can extremely dislike, even loathe and detest them but never hate. I also do not hate things. Not spiders or brussel sprouts or mosquito bites or Family Guy. These are things I only passionately dislike. I feel so strongly about this one that I don’t even allow my children to say it. Hate is the “h” word of our home.

Awhile back, DB pointed out to me that there is only one who is truly worthy of the word awesome and that is God. After that I started noticing how easily and often I used it. And yes, I notice how easily and often it is used by others. At first, it bothered me a bit but I know I can’t change how others speak so again, I’ll just focus on my own usage of the word. For awhile I refrained from using it at all, though catching myself a few times. After a period of not using it, I’ve slowly added it back into my vocabularly trying to be careful to only use it in reference to the works of God in our lives. For the most part though, I’m trying to be more truthful and creative with superlatives. Some things really are only “Great!” or “Excellent!”, not every good thing qualifies as “Awesome!”

I can be rather lazy in many aspects of my life. Maybe choosing to refine my word choices is one step to overcoming laziness in other areas? I very much appreciate a clean home so I should be more proactive about those dishes and laundry that I am not at all fond of and stop letting them pile up into impressive piles. It’s a start, no?

*OK, I readily admit to the overuse of the phrase “I heart” or “I <3” and even “I puffy heart”. I will most likely still continue to use that practice of using a heart or the word heart in place of love to show extreme affection for an item. In my opinion, it often fits what I’m trying to express in regards to non humans.

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