“Words, words, words.” William Shakespeare wrote about their power and he also used them well. Words have the power to heal and to harm. Words are spoken in love, in mistrust, in jest, in kindness, in anger, and are either truthful or false. Bill’s Uncle Bud (Rev. W.C.M. Baggett) defined words as the clothing of thought.
Pearl Strachan wrote, “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.” My mother and dad taught their children the careful use of words. They gave me the right principles for not only the spoken words but also for the thought-patterns which govern what I say out loud.
The principle I remember most regulates my vocabulary, especially for those expressions of meaningless interjections. “Expletives” are “added merely to fill out or to give emphasis” (Webster). My expletives don’t get much use and don’t go much further than “shoot” or “good night.” And maybe I can work on those also.
When I hear others use words that even the dictionary calls “vulgar,” I am thankful that my parents taught me “not to use any unnecessary words.” Even words which are not vulgar but useless add nothing to the thought and meaning of what’s being said. So I have this ingrained “thought patrol” (Joni Tada) which, while it is superintended by the Holy Spirit, has been trained from childhood.
I thank my parents for training me up right, in the way I should go, even in controlling my thoughts and spoken words.