Considering language

Today, I’m taking action. There are so many things we commonly say or write that do not seem to be carefully thought about.  Sometimes they’re not considerate towards others rights and feelings. Some of the things I hear, find myself saying or writing, come from my family-of-origin’s and culture’s language.

Language, for the purposes of this post on considering language, refers to a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings.  Each day I find myself with a growing list of things I want to stop saying, stop writing.  Maybe it’s a pet peeve, something writers and counselors pay attention to, or maybe it’s time for all of us to enter into considering our language.

A few examples follow.

“Shoot me an email.” Shoot sounds violent to me. Reconsidering, “Send me an email,” or better yet, “Please send me an email.”

When someone is looking forward to someone’s arrival or an event, often we hear, “I’m so anxious to see her.” Anxious? Really? It may be accurate when one is expecting someone who they have a stressful relationship with or for persons suffering with agoraphobia. Usually that is not the case. Reconsidering, “I’m so excited.” Or why not share some joy and happiness? “I’m so happy.”

Maybe you have some expressions that cause you to pause. You are invited to share them. Lets have some fun reconsidering language. Who knows? We could create a Reconsidering Language Dictionary working towards a world where we say what we mean and mean what we say – for a kinder more authentic world.

And, if you’re wondering why I chose considering, with an ing instead of considerate it’s because I believe language should evolve along with humans and the world – ever considering and ever changing.  Do we still have insane asylums? Do we dial up people on the phone? Geez, we rarely call someone. We text, tweet, have blogs, Facebook post (like and comment). Thank you.

1 Comment

  1. Julie
    May 26, 2013

    Thank you to Sue Abare Gritter for sharing that CBS News contributing writer Bill Flanagan has a big problem with people using the expression, “No problem.”

    He seems to think the use of “no problem” is something young people do. I’m not sure that people born after 1980 are the sole users, but agree we all might want to reconsider and use “you’re welcome.”

    Even though it is a challenge, not a problem, posting from my iPhone, I’m happy to share the URL to Flanagan’s work. It pleases me that others are considering language.

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