The other day I was wondering how many words are there in the English Language? I googled my question, of course, and guess what I found out? According to Merriam-Webster.com: “It has been estimated that the vocabulary of English includes roughly 1 million words (although most linguists would take that estimate with a chunk of salt, and some have said they wouldn’t be surprised if it is off the mark by a quarter-million)”
WOW! That’s a lot of words!
Why am I talking about words? Why is their number important? What difference do they make?The more words we have, the more careful we need to be choosing the words we use.
WORDS ARE TOOLS.
They can be used in so many ways. They can be used to give directions, to comfort, to share, to encourage, to seduce, to hurt. They are used to tell stories, to seek and give knowledge, to protect, to warn, to entertain.
WORDS CAN ALSO BE CONFUSING.
Some words have different meanings. Take, for example, the words chill, snap, cool, hot. Chill might mean to put something in the refrigerator or put ice in a drink, OR it might also mean to relax, calm down, i.e., “take a chill pill!”
Snap, hmm… perhaps to snap something together, snap a rubber band, OR “SNAP,” as in “you just got told” or something like that? (I haven’t quite figured that one out yet?)
Cool, to lower the temperature OR something that is really nice?
Hot, something that has an extremely high temperature OR something/someone that is extraordinarily attractive.
We have to choose our words carefully, and choose how we use them even more so.
What we say and how we say it can make a world of difference to someone. I know that growing up the words my parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, etc. said to me are part of what made me who I am today. The words we say to people matter.
Right now, our world, our society, our culture is not in the best of shape. Our world needs fixing. Any of us with even a smidgen of heart want to do something to make it better. So, how about this? We make the world better by helping others, by changing lives, and we change lives by changing hearts. We change hearts by the words we use and how we use them because words can lead to actions.
I have some favorite words: dream, love, peace, quiet, hope, time, alone, enough. I think my favorite of all these is “Enough.” Not the bad kind of enough where you’ve simply had enough of something or someone, and you are starting to get tired of it- tired enough to be angry. No, I’m talking about the kind of enough where you are pleasantly satisfied with something.
I also have some words I’m not so fond of, but I want to focus on the positive ones, on my favorite words. I want to focus on changing our world, changing lives, changing hearts, and using the power of positive words to help others. I choose to dream about a better world where we ALL work together to make it better, and I hope that you will join me.