News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 17, 2013

THE JOY LADY: Are our words pleasing to God; do they bring honor to Him?

TERRE HAUTE — Well, school has begun for most every school system. Teachers are fine-tuning lesson plans. College students are dreading the upcoming semester with just one glance at a syllabus. As a former instructor of a basic freshman writing class, I’d like to give my academic readers a little free advice about word usage.

First of all, when writing avoid alliteration. Always in all ways. Never use a long word when diminutive verbiage can enlighten your readers. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant or interesting) are unnecessary. Try not to use ampersands & abbreviations, etc. Also, remember to never split an infinitive.

It’s best to remember contractions aren’t necessary. Foreign words and phrases are not usually apropos. One should never generalize. Remember that quotations should be used sparingly, but with great meaning. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” You should not be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; they’re highly superfluous. One word sentences? Eliminate. And really, who needs rhetorical questions? Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. As for exaggeration, it is a billion times worse than understatement.

Writers don’t never use a double negative. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. Remember, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!! If any word is improper to place at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague. They’re old hat, after all.

Speaking of word usage, God wants to make sure we use our words properly. He doesn’t care if our grammar is correct. But He does care if our words speak truth. He cares that our words are good and bring glory and honor to God. Psalm 19:14 says it like this: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Are our words pleasing to God? Do our words bring honor to Him? Or are our words those of criticism, complaints, gossip, exaggeration? Do we tear down others with our words in hopes of building up ourselves? Are our words careless, thoughtless and discouraging to our listeners?

“Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth,” says Psalm 54:2. We should be encouraged to pray like Paul did in Ephesians 6:19. “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”

We must make sure our words are used wisely. Jesus spoke a strong warning about the use of our words. He said, in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Wow. Speaking of advice about proper word usage!

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010