I like words, always have. Playing with letters, shuffling words like cards, then stringing them together–like a daisy chain, or pearls on a fine cord. Sometimes, like recalcitrant children, words refuse to line up in orderly rows. Instead they tumble over each other, run about in circles, play hide-and-seek.
Other times I’m more like a quarryman. Finding the right words may mean chiseling away tons of useless debris. And occasionally the surprise days where, like a miner, I dig up a chunk of rock and crack it open. Inside glitters the gem I’ve searched for.
There are also days when the words pierce like a flint arrowhead, clunk like logs hitting the ground, or roll away like ping-pong balls bouncing downhill. But even those days, I’m glad I work with words. They are powerful little tools.
I also value words. We were not created mind readers, and while deciphering body language is somewhat helpful, using words to communicate is more reliable—if people don’t treat words like clay and stretch and distort their meanings purposefully to obfuscate, confuse, manipulate. Helpful perhaps if one’s goal is to garner power and control others; decidedly unhelpful for communicating and problem solving.
The conglomerations of sounds and odd slashes of ink on a page can create immense consequences. We can ~
create or crush,
mend or rend,
encourage or grieve,
uplift or hammer,
fasten or free.
And now, just for your fun, some examples of “headlines”garnered from the internet. Oh, my. Some of the folks below have really big problems here …
1. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
2. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
3. Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
4. Eye Drops off Shelf
5. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
6. Farmer Bill Dies in House
7. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
8. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
9. Miners Refuse to Work after Death
10. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
Do you have any favorites odd “headlines” to share? I’m partial to the book (that is not about pandas) Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.