Why Words Really Do Matter

People often ask me why I don’t swear. Because words matter, that’s why. The words you say/use in your life make up who you are and what you project to the world. Do I want to be remembered as someone who swore like a sailor or someone who was poignant and well-spoken? Yup, the latter!

According to the Global Language Monitor, as of January 1, 2015, there are a total of 1,030,475 words in the English language. With one million words, will one expletive really convey what you need it to?

Part of communication is using different words to express a specific message or voice a certain viewpoint – this can be among friends, acquaintances, strangers, coworkers, etc. Bottom line, we all want to be heard.

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

Words can change the world. Just think of the “I Have a Dream” speech or the lyrics to our National Anthem. Case and point. One word I strongly feel which should not be used is “retarded”. Today many still use the word to negatively refer to someone else, it is no longer a medical diagnosis, but a put down. This word doesn’t make the world better, it hurts people.

“When they were originally introduced, the terms “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” were medical terms with a specifically clinical connotation; however, the pejorative forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, when “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity.”

– Spread The Word To End The Word

Psychologically expletives or insensitive language can sometimes be a cover for true emotions or feelings. Say exactly what you mean, think smarter and use words which will truly express yourself.

For a better world, for a better you, think about how your words affect others. Do you want to hurt someone’s feelings? Do you want to reinforce stereotypes? Or do you want to use people-first language? Uplift others? Be the light in the word? The option is yours!

Agree or disagree? Let me know.

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