Word Hoarders

23 January, 2012 § Leave a comment

English: The apostle paul reading by candlelig...

The Apostle Paul

“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”        -II Timothy 2:14

Often times I am reminded of this verse when I come across an article or a person who is addicted to using words as they would have been used for their original purposes—word hoarders. Words like “Awesome” and “Creative” come to mind, but it’s interesting that more often than not these same people wouldn’t use the words “Faggot” or “Gay” to mean stick and happy—the double standard bothers me. Not that I would prefer the insensitivity and hurt that their consistency would surely cause, but if one is going to let other words move with the times and transform his or her vocabulary for those words, why not for words like “awesome” and “creative”?

While there is merit in “wrangling” about words if the wrangling is for authorial intent, I think that the Apostle Paul wouldn’t be too impressed with some of the pointless word hoarding that goes on in some of our literature and Churches. The limitations of the English language are more clearly known to those who refuse to broaden their vocabularies because of the passage of time and the transformation of a word’s current definition.


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