If you enjoy words, you will like this gem, which was published in the late 1800’s. It seems to have made the rounds like the old chain letters, in much the same way Internet memes are infinitely forwarded today.

We know it appeared in the Pennsylvania School Journal in May, 1875. For full effect, try reading it aloud.

“In promulgating your esoteric cogitations, or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical, or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity. Let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compacted comprehensibleness, a coalescent consistency, and a concatenated cogency.

Eschew all conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement, and asinine affectation. Let your extemporaneous descantings and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and veracious vivacity, without rhodomontade, or thrasonical bombast. Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolixity, psittaceous vacuity, ventriloquial verbosity, and vaniloquent vapidity. Shun double entendres, prurient jocosity, and pestiferous profanity, obscure or apparent.

In other words, talk plainly, briefly, naturally, truthfully, purely. Keep from ‘slang’; don’t put on airs; say what you mean; mean what you say. And don’t use big words.” (End quote.)

One of the things that separates us from the animals is articulate speech. That is, we use words, not mere grunts or random noises, and we string the words together in meaningful messages first formed in our brains.

Animals communicate well with one another, often using sounds, but only humans use words. God revealed Himself to Adam, Noah, Moses, and the Prophets through words. He spoke the world into existence (Hebrews 11:3). And when He chose to reveal Himself fully to us, He sent His Son, the “Logos,” the Incarnate Word (John 1:1).

Words matter: in our Bibles, in our relationships, in our sharing the Gospel. Let’s use them accurately, wisely, sparingly, lovingly, and joyfully, for every sentence we speak or write reflects something of God’s nature and office as Chief Communicator of the Cosmos.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6

Leave a Reply