It’s a matter of words – Portsmouth Daily Times | Episode Movies

According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, words are a beautiful thing. For example, in Wisconsin a bubbler is a drinking fountain, in Tennessee and Kentucky a dryland fish is an edible mushroom. Heavy rains can be categorized as toad strangling in the Deep South and fence jacking in the Ozarks. Even what you call a carbonated soft drink, whether it’s soda, lemonade, or cola, gives a clue to where you grew up. I love words don’t you?

I’m told that by the 800,000+ words in the English language. 300,000 are technical terms. The average person knows 10,000 words and uses 5,000 in everyday language. A journalist knows about 15,000 and uses about 10,000. That leaves many words that never see the light of day. However, words are very important.

Words are powerful things and they sure can bring a laugh or two. Neil Marten, a Member of Parliament in Britain, once gave a group of his constituents a tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the visit the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then Lord Chancellor, who wore all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten in the group and shouted, ‘Neil!’ Not daring to question or disobey the ‘order’, the entire crowd promptly fell to their knees!

The power of a successfully communicated thought from one human mind to another is one of the greatest forces we know. But like tango, it takes two to understand each other. You can share a thought, but your thought may not be understood. In some cases, your thoughts may not even reach the right destination. That’s why it pays to ask questions to make sure people understand what you’re saying.

The great filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille would agree. DeMille made one of his great epic movies. He had six cameras in various locations to capture the entire storyline and five more cameras set up to film the plot developments involving the main characters. The full cast had started rehearsing their scene at 6am. They went through it four times, and now it was late afternoon. The sun was setting and there was just enough light to take the picture. DeMille looked at the panorama, saw that everything was fine, and gave the order for action. A hundred extras charged up the hill; another hundred charged down the same hill to engage in mock combat. Elsewhere, Roman centurions whipped and yelled at two hundred slaves who were struggling to move a huge stone monument to its resting place. Meanwhile, the main characters acted out their reactions to the battle on the hill in close-up. Her words were drowned out by the noise around her, but the dialogue would later be dubbed. It took fifteen minutes to complete the scene. When it was over, DeMille yelled, “Cut!” and turned to his assistant, everyone smiling. “That was great!” he said. “That’s it, CB,” the assistant yelled back. “It was fantastic! Everything worked out perfectly!” DeMille, immensely pleased, turned to his camera crew leader to see if all the cameras had caught what they had been assigned to film. He waved to the camera crew supervisor. From the At the top of the hill, the cameraman waved back, raised his megaphone and shouted, “Ready when it’s you, CB!” No one had shouted “Rollfilm!”

When it comes to communicating the truth of God’s Word and what it means to be a follower of Christ, we cannot afford to miscommunicate! Job said, “Behold, now I have opened my mouth; my tongue has spoken in my mouth. My words will be from the sincerity of my heart, and my lips will speak clear knowledge. The Spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty gave me life.” Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the fellow who picked up a seed catalog and walked out the door. “Where are you going with this?” asked his wife. “I’ll show my tomatoes,” he declared!… I’m not sure the tomatoes will take the advice, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

It was Blaise Pascal who aptly said, “Words arranged differently have different meanings, and meanings arranged differently have different effects.” I desire to speak and bless those whom I have the responsibility to influence have, with words of life, wisdom and meaning. I want the words I say to fit the life I live. May we all remember that the fruit of our lives grows on the trees of others. I have a little thing I do every morning before my feet hit the floor by my bed. I recite this verse from the Psalms of David: “Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Lord… May my words be clear, my walk straight and my life do you honor! Amen!


Leave a Comment