Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s meet today’s guest, Rebecca Willen.
I Admit It! I Have a Word Addiction.
Do you ever feel a shiver up your spine when a particular phrase of prose or poetry hits you just right? Do you visualize conversations in your head in Times New Roman, 12 point? Do you enjoy Bananagrams, Scrabble, and crosswords? Do you get absurdly excited about new bookshelves?
If so, you might just be a word addict like me. Welcome to the club!
Whenever I get the dreaded interview question “Tell me about yourself,” my answer usually involves the fact that I really like words and people. My two loves work in tandem – words have little purpose without someone to listen or read them but find their end in the communication of truth to a receptive mind. Likewise, communication, counsel, teaching, and so many other forms of written or spoken words help people to bond and grow.
The challenge with technology and social media is that the value of words can be lost. Popular vocabulary is dwindling, and the beauty of a word is reduced to an arbitrary number of characters, or an attempt to catch a short attention span. On the other hand, the myriad methods of communication, and the speed at which words can be transmitted from one person to another, allow words to gain new impact and power.
For a word addict like me, the challenge is to reinforce in my friends, my readers, and all those with whom I communicate, the truth that words are important. Every word you use, down to its order in a sentence and the inflection of your voice, carries with it a vast array of connotations and connections. A good writer knows how to use words to draw a reader into their story, to wring the heart and spark thoughts in the mind. A good speaker knows how to grab the audience’s attention and keep it, while communicating important information in a way that interests and encourages retention.
As a Catholic, I have a great responsibility for the words I use. I can, and must, try to communicate God Himself, infinite Truth, through words. A single word misspoken can ruin another person’s image of the Church; in an apologetic conversation, a badly-used term can muddy the waters; in counsel, a wrong word can ruin a friendship. But think of what can be done positively through words! Look at the great saints and writers of the Church. They took their responsibility seriously and gave words their greatest possible power for good.
I like to help words achieve that power, in my own little way. Right now, that means working as a freelance proofreader and getting experience so that someday I can be an editor. (Consider this a commercial break—I’m looking for proofreading jobs starting in September!) And honestly, you’d be surprised how a misplaced comma or badly chosen word can mess up the message of a sentence or work. Writing is also fun and valuable, something in which I’m trying to grow.
If you’re a word addict, writer, speaker, blogger, bibliophile, or use social media, be encouraged! The Word has given Himself to be our aid and support. May the Lord bless and keep you in all that you do with the words He has given.
Rebecca is a confirmed bibliophile, a word addict, and if you haven’t guessed, a bit of a nerd. Having recently graduated from Christendom College, she’s starting out in the world as an anachronistic millennial, and retains her sanity by never leaving the apartment without a book. She writes at Our Hearts are Restless, and works as a database analyst and freelance proofreader. Contact Rebecca.
Great post, Rebecca!
Barb, thanks so much for your support!