It’s Words Matter Week

How great that a week about words, one of my great loves, is depicted by a poster in a beautiful shade of purple, one of my other great loves.

I’m going to put off the promised ‘tomato’ post until next week, so I can participate in a five day writing challenge in honor of Words Matter Week. I believe that idea so much that “words matter” is part of my email signature!

I’m going to try to write one short post each day in answer to each of the five questions provided by NAIWE (national association of independent writer’s and artists, the host for this blog.)

I hope you’ll tune into my blog ( each day to see my post of the day.

So, here’s day one of #WordsMatterWeek

Words Matter Week Writing Challenge

Day 1: If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?

This is one of those impossible questions, like “what’s your favorite book, food, movie?” You can’t pick only one. At least I can’t.

So I’m going to cheat a little.

First, I’m going to eliminate a whole class of words, then move on to the top two phrases I’d eliminate.

I hate profanity of all kinds and think it has no place in good writing or speech, with a few possible exceptions made necessary by context.

But in general profanity is ugly and annoying and a lazy (you’ll see the irony below) use of language. I’m 51 years old and have not lived in outer space, so it’s not likely I’ll be shocked because I’ve never heard any of the words before. I just hate them, and don’t want to be subjected to them when I read or have a conversation.

In my opinion respect; decency; and love of language, as well as consideration for others, all make all profanity undesirable and unnecessary. Enough said.

Now, on to the phrase I’d eliminate: “just saying.” I don’t feel it conveys anything meaningful or has any real purpose except to make the person using it think they can say anything they want and then seek refuge under this phrase.

Usually people say this after they’ve made a comment that is rude, intrusive, unwanted, or irrelevant, then follow it by “just saying,” so you aren’t supposed to be mad at them because they’ve somehow neutralized it with these two words.

The phrase is annoying by itself, and usually follows something also annoying that the person knows they shouldn’t really say. So, try just “not saying.”

If I could pick a second phrase it would be “you’re lazy.” To me, that usually just means that the other person isn’t doing what YOU want them to do, or isn’t doing it in the way or at the time you want them to do it. Then you want them to feel bad about themselves for not meeting your expectations.

It’s mean, controlling, and probably not true.

Do you see a theme here? None of these are kind, nice, considerate of the other person, or particularly insightful. They’re about imposing something on someone rather than listening.

So, let’s go out and have a day free of ugly words, pointless words, and unkind words. There are plenty of other, better words to choose from.

Choose carefully, because words matter.



3 thoughts on “It’s Words Matter Week

  1. Interested in participating in the NAIWE writing challenge? Each day NAIWE will post a question. Respond to the question on your blog or social media page (be sure to include #WordsMatterWeek in your response), and then link back to it in the comments of the corresponding article on the NAIWE blog. For each challenge you respond to, you will receive one entry (and a bonus entry for each response written on your NAIWE blog). At the end of the week, NAIWE will have a drawing, and one person will win a NAIWE webinar, along with a mention and link in the next newsletter.

  2. Hi April,

    Thanks for reading.
    I’m a little confused though. Aren’t I participating by putting my responses on my NAIWE blog? And I’ve been putting “WordsMatterWeek in my titles. What step am I missing?

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