We all have at least one in our home. It might be hanging on a door knob, tucked under the sink, or camouflaged in an attractive container, but they’re there; waiting for the next time we need them. Be honest: you have a Bag of Bags.
You know the ones I mean. You get them for every little thing you buy. From a small gift card (that you could have easily placed in your purse) to the one so over filled with groceries that it splits half way up the walk to the front door. It’s something every store give you, why they don’t even ask the old phrase “paper or plastic” any more! And we know that they need to be recycled, so we collect them, usually putting all in one bag until it’s overflowing. Then they get stuffed somewhere out of sight until needed for what ever job you use them for (personally, mine are kept by the cat’s litter box for-well you know).
I was thinking this morning, as I was pulling a bag out of the bright orange cloth bag I keep them all in, that these could be a symbol for our language, too. Think about it. There are so many words just in the English language, and we only use a small percent of them. Most of us fall back on the same words over and over, even though we know that there are other words that could say the same thing! Often the words we speak aren’t even “real” words at all. They may be slang or regional words that we use to fit in with those we are talking to. (Just count the number of times I use “word”)
But every one of us has access to our “bag” of words. There is no excuse for us not to extend our vocabulary and express our thought more articulately. Look on your desk, or bookshelf…there it is, you see it? They are thick and full of wonderful tools. Yes that’s it-your Dictionary and Thesaurus!!
Every one of us tells hundreds of stories every day. Most of us do this with our normal conversations with one another. But some of us tell our stories in the written form. And we all read! From the simple children’s tale to the great literary masterpieces. Some of us truly love to read, other would prefer to be read to. This can be done by a parent reading to a child to anyone watching TV or a movie. Think about it; the actors are portraying words that someone wrote; maybe as a screenplay, or a newscast. At some point the actions you are seeing had to be WRITTEN down somewhere. Even those dreaded electric games our children seem glued to have written directions on their screens.
Words are our tools to communicate. The more we know, the better we can express ourselves. So crack open that dictionary or thesaurus and find a new word to replace a common word in your vocabulary!