Words matter. They reveal who you are and reflect your character. Every child has heard the rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me.” But we all know that is true. This interesting information came to us from The Herald out of Pennsylvania in their article, “Word misuse can cause ‘awesome’ impact.”

Using the correct word in a sentence or reference also reveals your intelligence. Cliches and expressions can be annoying when they are recited accurately, but if they are mis-used it can be painful to the hears.

I have a friend who consistently uses “ideal” for “idea”. I have tried to passively correct her by using the correct word but I don’t think she hears the difference. Though it is an inside joke now between me and my husband, I feel bad for her because she is not a stupid person. But someone who doesn’t know her may not make that same judgement.

Words do change over time. Words from the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) show how the definitions have evolved over the years. For example, around 1560 “jelly” was thought to be related to “jolly,” and described an excellent person (not a sticky one).

Melody K. Smith

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