Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Words by Angie Ledbetter

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." ~ Mark Twain

I'm thankful when I can find just the right words to say what I'm thinking, to express ideas, to exchange feelings with family and friends, to make students feel inspired to learn, and to create stories, articles, and poetry. Although the arts of letter writing and conversation are in danger of becoming extinct, we must still communicate in order to live fully.

Have you ever thought how important the words we speak and write are? They have the power to uplift or crush. To encourage and bring delight. To impart important thoughts or ideas. It always amazes me how words in the hands of masterful speakers or writers can mean totally different things. I'm not talking about grammatically perfect writing; there are typos, danging modifiers, and other nits in almost everything I write. I'm talking about the power behind the words. Without creative pens and unique voices, we'd pretty much just muddle along in our own worlds, closed off individuals.

Words fill our lives in books, movies, music, poetry, and song, not to mention our interactions with others. What a heroic person Helen Keller was to overcome barriers to communication by sheer force of will and still leave her thoughts for generations to come. I ask myself if I put forth good effort in order to make my conversations and lesson plans stand out? Do I care as much as I should how my words come across?

I hope to choose carefully; to speak and write what I mean from the heart. I'd much rather produce a few lightning strikes than let loose lightning bugs that burn out so quickly, you wonder if they were ever really there.

4 comments:

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes...the power of words - and when they are written, they can last a lifetime and beyond...imagine that...something you've written and even after you are gone from the earth, the words linger, an echo, an apparition, a shadow with substance....

Barbara Quinn said...

So ture...Words are powerful. They can comfort or sting and we do need to be more careful in letting them fly out of our mouths and keyboards. How lucky we are as writers to be able to leave a legacy for future generations.

Nannette Croce said...

I feel elated when I find just the right word. I am cursed with coming from a family that has difficulty with word recall. I'm convinced it's genetic. My grandfather, Mom and one aunt were always telling us to bring them the thing that was sitting on the watchamacallit. My sister and I both try to discipline ourselves from falling into that horrible habit, but as I get older it gets harder and harder. When writing I will often simply leave a blank where I can't find the right word. Eventually it comes to me. (Or maybe an even better one)

Amanda said...

some right words.....choochoo island!

Listen to our Podcasts