Words – such simple, yet complex things. Something meant to be straightforward, to convey a point, yet at the same time it can be so emotionally charged.
Innuendoes, sarcasm, tone, they stick to words like a greasy film, staining their true meaning.
We’ve gone from A,B,C to LMAO and every possible internet slang in between.
It’s no wonder kids have a hard time learning the already complicated English language.
Try explaining to a five-year-old why ‘my’ is not spelled ‘mi’.
Meanwhile they see us texting and typing things like C U L8R in what is essentially our lazy form of English. Call it evolution if you want, but I call it lazy, and I am just as guilty as the rest. And unfortunately it is tarnishing my spelling skills.
Then there are the sarcastic comments, the innuendoes and tone that often come with words.
A simple, “Hey nice pants,” can be construed as a sarcastic comment in reality making fun of your pants, or even adversely, be an innuendo complimenting one’s rear end.
How is that we can mess up a language so much?
It could be just me, I tend to take things pretty literally, over-analyze and dwell on words. But I’m sure I’m not the only one takes offence to certain opinions and expressions people have.
It’s like someone saying, “you look tired,” you kind of take it as, “you look like crap.”
Often, not always (there goes my paranoia again), that person has good intentions. They may have noticed that the bags under your eyes are a little darker and perhaps what they might mean to say is: “You seem a little down today, is everything OK?”
But again, we get lazy with our words, so it doesn’t always come out so eloquently.
The same goes for the responses people have after someone has lost a loved one.
Unless you’ve been through it, no one really knows what to say in such situations.
We try to offer hope or advice, anything that will make the person feel better.
I heard all those ‘wrong’ things to say after losing my mom. And, I’ve said all the ‘wrong’ things too.
It wasn’t until my own loss that I learned some of the rules and proper etiquette around those grieving. I kick myself now for all the ‘wrong’ things I’ve said, but I shouldn’t because I didn’t know any better. And if you’re reading this with some guilt as well, it’s not meant to shame you, but more educate.
Apparently, when people say things like: “They’re in a better place,” or “they’re no longer suffering,” it brings little comfort. Honestly though, in cases like mine, where I watched my mom suffer endlessly as cancer and chemo sucked the life out of her, she is in a better place and she isn’t suffering anymore. So contrary to what the grief experts say, those sentiments were comforting to me.
But what is never comforting is the fact that they are gone. And these adages, as true as they may be, still hurt.
But probably the best (there goes that sarcasm again), er worst, response to grief is: “I know how you feel.”
That one is purely outrageous.
There is no way, no matter who you have lost, that you have any idea how that person feels.
But again, for the most part, it’s just a natural thing for us to try and relate.
So when you’re at a loss for words, remember the best thing you can say is, nothing.
Hugs are also widely accepted.