The Importance of Diction

Andrew - Lindenhurst, Illinois
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that words are taken for granted. Though they are so familiar to us and used so often, we really don’t pause and reflect on the words we use. We can choose from an almost endless supply of them, so why do we often use some of the ugly, vulgar, and demeaning ones the most.

When did the f-bomb become space filler like “um?” Why is a girl being called a female dog a good thing? I often ask people who say, “This tastes like [excrement],” when they ever tasted that to compare it to food.

Personally, I would make it my vendetta to see that the word “retarded” is used solely in a non-demeaning way. A word is not retarded, a TV is not retarded, and even computers are not retarded. Using that word to express disappointment or rage at an object is so insulting to a group of very loving and understanding people. What if we started calling everything that sucked up money collegiate? “That collegiate vending machine just took my dollar!” How ridiculous does that sound?

“Gay” is another word the ignorant throw around as an insult. It makes someone sound so sophisticated to scream the word “faggot” at the top of their lungs. Too bad the word dunce has gone out of fashion because I believe it applies to those people. I wonder if anyone is shocked that third graders have been using homosexual slang as insults for a decade or more. “Gay” is also assigned by dunces to words, doors, actions, even tools. Yes, I guess to dunces it would appear logical that if the printer jams it must be gay. I guess that belief goes along with the Germans putting gremlins in our planes during WWII.

“Hate” has lost all value anymore. You can’t hate anyone the way people used to. I hate spinach equates nowadays to hating terrorists. I’d rather be confronted by a bag of greens than a suicide bomber, personally, but that’s just me.

We need to widen our vocabulary in the era of technological flourishing. I can dislike spinach and loathe terrorists. When my printer jams, it’s a contemptible machine. The infernal vending machine ate my dollar. Our illiteracy shows when we use words for others purposes than their intended meaning. To those of who would say that I’m full of [excrement], I propose that I’m arrogant and opinionated.