Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Experiment in Brevity

So lately, because of a personal conviction, I began a Word study of the power of the spoken word. This morning, I was lead to a familiar verse.

 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 
~Proverbs 25:11

I love that  proverb. It has always been beautiful to me because of the imagery of the thing. This time, though, I focused on the first part of the verse rather than that poetic stuff at the end. I was curious to know exactly what was meant by a word  “aptly spoken”. The study didn’t disappoint.

Literally, the words mean 
 word upon its wheel.
I like that.
More imagery.

In fact, it reads more like this:

A Word, a word upon the wheel,
 is like an apple of gold in a setting of silver.

 Now, I’m not sure what an apple of gold is scripturally, but I’m pretty certain that anything golden, when set in silver, must be a thing of great value. I’m going to trust that it is and leave that study for another day..

So what’s this thing of great value?  John Gill, one of my favorite of those old dead commentators, says this:

“ A word spoken on its wheels  keeps due order, is well put together, easily, and fluently delivered to proper persons, adapted to their circumstances, and seasonably spoken."

Matthew Henry adds that it :

 agrees with the character
 the person speaking."

Now, that’s what I want my words to be.

Unfortunately, my words tend to have more the imagery of  wheels flying off of their axles, hurling every which way, bopping others in the face, and rarely, if ever reaching their intended destination or serving any useful purpose at all. That’s the result of talking too much. You yammer along, word after word, syllable after syllable, until you morph into Charlie Brown’s teacher.

Wok, wok wok wok wok wokkkk

And then, when you do have that golden apple moment, you are the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it. Everyone has scattered to avoid the sound of your noise.


So, I’m putting some serious effort into practicing the art of the verbal edit. I read somewhere (and I don’t know if this is true), that a typical woman uses over 16,000 words in a given day. Since I’m an above average talker,  it presents a bit of a problem. What am I going to do with all of those excess words that race around in my head? They have to light somewhere.

This brings me to the purpose of my little blog. I already keep a journal for my ramblings, but because a journal is private, it's also a place where words are allowed to fly off their axles.  Here, I’ll try to practice the art of the edit and maybe, I'll finally master the concept of brevity. Maybe, just maybe, the skill will transfer from the fingers to the mouth.

So far, this word count is 539. I’m not off to a terrific start in the brevity department, but if you consider how many words I could have said in the time it took to write this, I’m doing pretty well.


~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady. I was looking at some old books today and this Quote was in this book !!
{ Mothers are like fine collectibles-as The years go by they increase in Value.}
proverbs 23:22~~~~I hope you have a nice day sweet lady.~~Thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my Tablescapes.

bj said...

Sidney Poitier ? haahhhaa.a..I doubt if he is still alive.

Love this post...:))


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