My mother always corrected my grammar while I was growing up as a child. Now, when I’m trying to decide whether “I” or “me” should be inserted into a phrase such as “That was the best dinner that Julia and I ever concocted,” I know instinctively the correct answer. Thanks, mom. While my mother relied on relentless prodding, apparently there were books with illustrations that were given or possibly hurled at other children.
I love writing. Each word is carefully chosen like a jewel that radiates its own special meaning. But the spoken word carries its own effect. Whether it’s a comforting word, a lengthy pause, or a curse at the opportune time, your words can speak volumes. Sometimes it’s knowing when not to speak, but more often it’s about being capable and competent. I think a healthy respect for language comes when there is also true enjoyment in the experience. Rather than work, it becomes play. It’s no longer a hurdle, but a window that opens up to other adventures. Here are a few thoughts on how to appreciate the pure pleasure of words:
1) Read for pure enjoyment. Whether it’s about traveling though Ireland or baking a souffle, pick up a book and escape. Read online and offline and stay curious.
2) Journal. It can be your random thoughts, your nightly dreams or your observations. Just make sure it’s not your to-do list.
3) Do a crossword puzzle. Challenge your mind and enjoy the subtle variances in the meaning of words.
4) Think before you speak. We’ve all found ourselves in trouble for saying things we wished we had not. While our words may not be written, they can still carry weight.