Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Meaning of the Word Friend and Other Devaluations of the American Langauage

I saw one of those 'meme' doo dads the other day. A picture of a fella commenting on the dilution of meaning in our words. We Need to Restore the Power of our language.

Words in a careless society have come to have shallow meaning. Promises carry no weight. It is a simple thing to say; "I changed my mind"  So a promise in 2013 has degenerated to little more than static.

"I apologize" is as over used and valueless. How many do whatever pleases them, consciously thinking; "If I get caught I can apologize?" It's like a game of tag when we were kids. "I apologize"... SAFE!

How often have you heard the phrase; "I got your back!" ? and how many times have you seen it done? Rather you hear; "Help!" and the one who "has your back" replies; "Uh dude! I'm getting my teeth cleaned! sorry!"

They should speak more accurately; "Dude I have your back!...  as long as backing you is convenient and risk free!"

We denigrate the power of language with the subtraction of Value from the words we speak.The loss of value in our words... reveals the deeper loss of character among people.

A few abused words;
Love, Friend, Amazing, Awesome, Incredible.

Sandwiches are; good, excellent, tasty, delicious, favorite or toothsome. They can be flavorsome, flavorous or flavorful. They've been known to be tangy, sweet, sour, bitter, nasty, disgusting or tart. They can be delicately nuanced and artfully displayed.

But How-some-ever, there are things a sandwich, a shoe, a rifle or a handbag can not be. A sandwich or those other articles of possession cannot be; Awesome, Incredible or worthy of LOVE.

While the craftsmanship of a shoe or handbag can be incredible in its detail, the article itself cannot. They can only rise to the level of a beautiful piece.

People are Awesome or Incredible. There are places and views on Earth that are Awesome and incredible. Acts of courage or love can be incredibly awesome; Inspiring and Amazing. Even music can be Awesome and incredible, though some is indeed unworthy of even remembrance. Sandwiches however, along with shoes, paint colors and your mother-in-laws hairdo... are lesser creatures.

Love ya! is so carelessly thrown about that its meaning in most cases has become as valued as a trash bag.

Love should be a declaration of commitment and devotion.

Friends; a person can be likeable, a companion, an acquaintance or crony. They can be talented, inquisitive, inspiring, awesome, amazing, even incredible... They can be neighbor, intimate, fellows, bunkmates, bed mates, fwb's, classmates, teammates and playmates.

But Friends?

...very few rise to that special place where they can be called "Friend"... a Friend is one who will give you the last swallow of water in the desert, one who will stand between you and the Grizzly and tell YOU to GO! One who will die before they betray you and one who's life is lightened by your presence in ways for which they have no comparison.

A Friend is one who might be so angry they want to club you... but the idea of abandoning you is a thought foreign to their soul.

Be careful what you say. People are listening. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and apply an appropriate emphasis with your adjectives.

If you are careless in your choice of words, you may find that you are making noises... but you have stopped communicating anything of any Value.

Just Sayin'


acheapguy said...

I agree with you cowboy, I am looking for a used 5th wheel, and so many were amazing.
Year ago, industrial tools were robust.
Personally, I think of you as a boondocking icon. Just saying.It is what it is. We all kick the can down the road.I could care less if I had more time. If we could only read what we say.....

Shadowmoss said...

I'm going to disagree with you including 'friend' in the list. In the way past, I believe it was Quakers who referred to others as 'Friend'. I thought it a nice custom, as in I will believe in you up until you prove otherwise. A faith based comment, if you will. I understand what you are saying, but quibble with a few of the examples.

Anonymous said...

"Words are what men live by.....words they say and mean."
A quote from John Wayne that pretty much covers it.