Sometimes people say what they think you want to hear. Other times people say things that they don't mean at all. I don't profess that I never have, but I sincerely try not to do these either of these things.
And some people can find the right words to express exactly what they mean. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. When I open my mouth I tend to say the wrong words.
I usually have the words that I need, in my head, but I cannot for the life of me get them to come out right. Maybe I get nervous. Maybe I try too hard. Mostly, I am afraid that someone may misunderstand me.
I definitely need a dictionary.
I hate crossword puzzles (and Scrabble). I find them both extremely frustrating. They make me feel not real bright, and I know that I am. I'm not denying my dimmer moments, but we all have those. I'm also not impying that I'm Jeopardy material. What I am trying to say is that I don't know a 6 letter word for "Pay homage to". And I don't care. But maybe I should.
I am trying to work on this. I am trying to think about how others will understand my words, and my frequent misuse of them. Some have perceived my frequent verbal-blunders as dishonesty and an attempt to mislead them. That is NOT my goal. My vocablulary is obviously just more limited than I like to admit.
What I really want is the gift of being able to express my feelings, exactly the way I intend to. This is one of the main reasons that I write. My brain-to-mouth coordination seems to be lacking of late. I like that when I write my thoughts down I can go back to edit, proofread, and rewrite as many times as I like. I can make sure the words I use are just perfect. (I've reread this bog at least 50 times.)
Although I tend to bugger that up at times as well. I've learned that when you use certain words (and analogies), people don't always take your meaning the way that you intend for them to. I'll bet those people have a dictionary.
Let's talk about words. Yes, if you open a dictionary, there are thousands of pages of concrete definitions to every word in our language. In my mind some words have positive connotations, others negative.
The word "connotation" is defined as "the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning". My issue is not with the words themselves, just another persons opinion of negative or positive connotations of them. This is where I run into problems.
Here is an example. The word is "content". As an adjective, not a noun. I tend to like this word. Overall, I see it as a having a positive meaning. It is defined as "satified with what one has; not wanting more or anything else." Unfortunately, I think the word "satisfied" is a boring word. Kind of blah. There are certain situations when I think the word "satisfied" is extremely appropriate. But in this case we are talking about talking, not...well, you know.
If you look in a thesauras, "content" is synonymous with "agreeable, at ease, fulfilled, thankful, and tickled pink". These are positive words in my mind. But it is also synonymous with "smug, complacent, and appeased". I don't find these words exactly negative, so to speak. Just sort of so-so. You may not feel the same way. That is exactly the point I am trying to make.
Ok, one more word. "Copacetic". It just happens to be the word of the day on dictionary.com today. Defined as "fine, completely satisfactory, ok". Ugh.. "satisfactory". Although it is synonymous with "admirable". I like that word.
So i like "content", but I hate "copacetic". The find the former positive, the latter...blah. But the definition of both contains the word "satified".
Am I asking too much? I want to be more than "satisfied". And I definitely am. But how do I say it? What are the right words?
If only there was a way that the people that you care about could just read your mind and know exactly what you want to say. I would not have to get nervous about choosing the wrong words to get my meaning across.
The moral of this story is think before your speak. Words may have different "connotations" to different people. Even if the definition is the same. The point is that we try. I know I really do, even though I tend to mess it up in the end.
I sincerely hope that no one misunderstands what I mean when they read this.
And please, no comments full of merriam-webster definitions that show just how poorly I've chosen my words....I'm still searching for the right ones. I'm a work in progress.