At one of my former churches, there was a member who taught school. In her classroom each year, she would put up a bulletin board with the title "WORD GRAVEYARD" - the thought being to encourage the children to lay to rest certain words they overused or which were redundant and to learn new words for their vocabulary. As a person of faith, I believe that words are very powerful; Scripture tells us that words can create, destroy, have power, and are to be handled with care. Jesus is even portrayed as the Word of God.
So today, I am proposing that we each look at our own speech, and from time to time relegate a word or phrase to the 'graveyard', replacing it with a different one. For instance:
-Awesome - are you one of those people for whom EVERYTHING is awesome? Pizza? God? Daffodils? Nobel Peace Prize?
-Literally and Basically - are those your go-to sentence starters?
-A personal pet peeve of mine lately has been the trend toward making nouns into verbs. Why do we not give things anymore? Why do we gift things?
Okay, some of those may sound picky and prissy. But there are other words - stronger words - that need to be sent to the graveyard, never to return:
Any demeaning word for another human
Words which you cannot say in front of your grandmother (You know who you are - trust me, those words are not only harsh, but they are tiresome and show a distinct lack of originality.)
How about making this summer a time to send overworked and tired words of your own to the graveyard, and learn a few new terms and phrases? Make sure your words create the positive, helpful atmosphere you need around you, and others.