Sam Rose - writer, geek, music lover, cancer survivor, optimist, Buddhist.

Tag: words

If In Doubt

If in doubt, grasp all of your words:
Close your eyes.
Reach into the lucky dip bag of vocab
like a child fishing for sweets.
Feel for the ones that best fit the palm of your hand,
the ones that mould to the hills of your knuckles,
that give way to the swirls of your fingertips without
leaving sticky residue on them.
Squeeze the words, with their hollow vowels and
crunchy consonants. Don’t crush them. Test them to see
which ones are hard, which ones will have the most impact,
which ones will bounce and which will fall flat.
Pull out those words and throw them
in the direction of your target. The page, the
cat, your mother. The armed robber in the bank with the
hostages. Make sure you get the delivery just right –
a gentle underarm toss or a heaving thrust for
those targets who are harder to reach. Let the words fly
and pray the good ones stick –
else be ready to flee for safety when it backfires, or to
work your arm until it’s sore and your message is received.

The problem with language

That’s the problem with language; sometimes you can be saying the right words but they don’t mean the right thing. Like an idiom or a turn of phrase when you’re learning a second language. Or even when you’re speaking perfect English, or whatever your first language is. You don’t have to be an amateur to say the wrong thing even when you think you’re using the right words.

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