Tuesday, June 30, 2009


You’ve heard the expression; it’s not what you say…it’s how you say it. Well, that’s not entirely true. WHAT YOU SAY matters. It reveals things about you, including your character, integrity and your beliefs.

What is it about words that you like? You know what I like? I like that you can use them to articulate something in specific and purposeful ways. I like how one word can mean one thing to one person and something entirely different to another person, but if you set two words together both people receive the same or a similar message.

~~~I’ve been thinking a lot about word usage lately and when I think about it, I’m reminded I want to cut back. I need to scythe my verbiage. I’ve named it the call for selective verbalization. I haven’t really named it anything; I’m just playin’ with you. But you see what I’m getting at, right? People talk too much and when I write people I’m quite aware I fall into that category.

So what is selective verbalization? It’s the ability to be quiet when quiet is called for and the art of speaking when your voice is needed. It’s learning the difference between the two.

Here’s one example of how just about every human alive (again including myself here) can utilize selective verbalization. Advice giving. Plain and simple—don’t give it unless someone is asking for it or unless you are in an obvious role or position in their life where you need to be the soothsayer or mentor. More often than not, more times than not, we shouldn’t be dishing out advice. Ha, that was advice right there!!!

Anyway, enough verbalization from me. If you want to know more of what I think about what we say, head over to Exemplify to read more.

Why do you think what we say can have such a potent impact?

*photos by flickr


  1. Great post. And words have always been able to make an impact throughout history, so I agree that you have to choose wisely what you say.

  2. I'm forever telling myself to shut up. Unfortunately it's usually after I've blundered. This is a constant battle for me that I'm consiously trying to correct. Great post!

  3. I just read your article at Exemplify and WOW!! I am going to add myself to your followers so I can glean more truth from the wisdom you share!

  4. Words are more powerful than we realize. God created the universe using them.

  5. I love the ability of a select one or two words to aptly describe a moment, an essence, a sight we may see. Yes, very powerful indeed for a few syllables to have this capacity. There is also an element of truth in the words we choose, even those veiled in humor or fun, so like B.J. Anderson says above, choose wisely. They reflect our own selves.

  6. Words carry tremendous weight. I think that's why it takes so long -- and sometimes so much courage -- for some of us to hit the "Publish Post" button when we blog.

  7. This is SUCH a great reminder. I agree...sometimes we all just need to be silent, listen. This is not only true with my relationships with people, but with God. I'm always talking AT God. I sometimes wonder if He's up there shaking his head, thinking, "This girl won't shut up long enough to listen to what I'm saying." Verbalization will be my new motto. Excellent post, Wendy. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I'm a talker in social gatherings. No surprise, there, eh?! But I have learned over the years that God wants me to be interested in the lives of others and so slowly I'm learning not to think so much about myself!

  9. I think words stick in people's hearts. While I'm not always a big talker, I can get on a roll about something, lol, and then end up wondering if people took what I said the way I meant it? Or did I say it the wrong way?
    I love that you used the word scythe. Talk about an image right there!

  10. Oh wow--I use way too many words --all the time! I need to work on this one.

  11. Ahhh....the power of silence. So amazing, and yet so difficult (for me) sometimes. I need to speak less and listen more.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  12. I like to talk and probably use too many words:) But I have this burning desire to expand my vocabulary. Maybe if I do this I can use less words when I'm talking or writing:)

  13. Wendy, Thank you for writing another great post. -And article!-

  14. B.J., I agree. I also think it isn't always the most eloquent things spoken that have made change happen, but often it was the most timely things spoken.

    Eileen, I also know too well the taste of my own foot.

    Lauren, boy did I have you fooled. :D I am grateful for your feedback and your response. Am looking forward to checking out your blog here soon.

    Luisa, reading your comment was thrilling for me, the reminder and the truth.

    Joanne, I veil so much in humor and I'm feeling like I need to step back a bit on that.

    Jennifer, I'm with you, that and the fact that my pictures line up funny and my paragraphs don't always indent and.... :D

    Katie, you know what I think God is doing when you are talking to Him; smiling!

    Jody, get this...sometimes I find it's easier to be interested in others than digging into self stuff, but here's where that gets tricky...intentions (do I invest in knowing/caring about others out of pure interest or am I doing it b/c I'm looking for a way not to deal w/ myself.) Okay, done psychoanalyzing myself for the year now. :D

    Jessica, I can relate to your sensitivity about words, spoken and received. I like the word scythe. :D

    Terri, it's easily done and sometimes dressing words up and parading them around is fun.

    Tess, I figure if I can just learn to be more silent I could hear the birds more and I love that sound.

    Kara, you raise an interesting point. With a richer vocabulary do we scale down our words? Thinking, thinking, thinking...

    Andrea, thank you for the kind words and in regards to your post--I am praying!

    Again, I'm blown away by all of you. You MOVE me and that was the whole point of starting this blog, so thank you!

    Good night.
    ~ Wendy

  15. This is wonderful--especially re advice giving. I think that sometimes in our haste to help, we forget that we're only seeing a part of the puzzle through the lenses of our own experiences and self.

    I think maybe our words have the impact they do, because humans tend to be social beings. We don't generally want to be alone in our own corner. And words, while they can tear down, can also build up and cause to fly. It's all in how we use them. :D

  16. Good thoughts here today! I have to admit that several years back I discovered that I would monopolize phone conversations with my friends. It wasn't so much that I thought I was wiser or had more answers, but I couldn't appreciate small silences...I had to fill them with stories and discoveries. It took a while, but I learned to sit and listen and enjoy the pauses and the empty space. It's valuable. I've also found the famous quote below to be so true, unfortunately. LOL

    "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."




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