Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“I am all astonishment.”

After looking up many of the 97K plus words in Vol. I or II of Samuel Johnson’s book of words for my resent novel, ”I am all astonishment.”

My respect of  for the English language has grown with this research. We use words with every breath, but do we ever stop to think how long a word has been in use?

Poets show appreciation. As do song writers and novelists. But each time we speak, do we consider the history of the words we say?

Yet, not all words are used as things of beauty. I am not referring to slang or curse words. I mean the words said in anger. Words intending to wound another.  Words said without thought.

Remember...once spoken, words can never be taken back. Sure, kids do this all the time. Say mean things and when faced with the consequences, they claim they were only teasing. Teenagers are especially skilled in this art and use it indiscriminately.

But adults are guilty of inflicting pain as well. I read a comment on another list that makes me cringe. To a group of writers and dreamers,  this woman  stated there were  two people in one  of her groups who couldn’t write, but they continued to publish anyway.

Did you duck? Are you looking over your shoulder. Can you feel the pain these words inflict? Imagine...someone who is struggling with their writing career reading these words.  Or the writer who just learned her publisher dropped her contract. Or the dreamer who spent a lifetime with the goal of writing in her head. These are strangers to the woman who made that comment. I doubt she ever gave her words or the people reading them a thought, but why say such a thing?

Is ego to blame? Do we need to be on top of the heap no matter who we stomp on the way up?   Is this a case of ‘the more  you say, the less important it is’?  Words. Matter.

“Our dreams are like our children, they need to be fostered...” This quote is the punch line from the movie, My Fellow Americans. But don’t let a careless comment steal your dreams. Use your words wisely. Create beauty, escape, enjoyment.
Don’t try to knock people down. Give them a hand up and you will be a winner.
I am all the length of this post. Please forgive me. And don’t forget to




  1. Love this post, Carol, especially "Words. Matter" and that last line: "FOLLOW YOUR DREAM" - such important advice, not just for writers, but for everyone.

  2. What a beautiful sentiment and great reminder. Thanks, Carol. I plan to make today "mindful of my words" day.

  3. A great "tap on the head" post to remind us all that words do matter.

  4. Hi Carol. You are absolutely right. Now if we could just send a copy of this post to book reviewers!