I love words. I love playing with words. I love puns, as many of you know. Some of you are groaning as you remember some of my puns. The professor who preceded me in General Psychology would tell jokes, and students would throw pennies at him. I expected the same when I told jokes and made puns. No pennies. The only thing I could conclude was that my jokes don’t make cents. Though you groan, many of you repeat my puns. Ha! I groan at puns, too. Yet, I wish I would have come up with it first!
I love sounds and similarities of words. I love the seeming contradictions and inconsistencies of words and even of pronunciations. I love that some words appeal to the intellect, to the emotions, to the spiritual, and to relationships. I love that words can challenge, soothe, and even scold—if they are fair and lead to growth.
In regard to relationships–remembering back to Introduction to Speech class (as it was then known): “Communication is the sharing, receiving, and reciprocation of a message”. That is the essence of empathy. As my students will remember, I describe empathy as “the ability to enter into the subjective world of another, while remaining objective, coupled with the ability to communicate back the understanding back to them in a way that they feel understood”. A powerful tool!
Of course communication takes place via many avenues. Words are just one medium. I prefer face-to-face communication when using words because there are so many other facets involved. For instance, voice tone, volume, non-verbal cues, among others. I am confident that you, like me, have entered a room and “felt” the “vibes” of an intense exchange of words.
Anyway, you get it: I love words.
Part II to follow.