16 August 2007

A Lady Is Aware of Her Words

I advise my gentle readers to please travel to this link and read a most refreshing article on the subject of the words we use: Christian Cussing is for the Foolish (from Desiring to Be a Godly Woman's blog).

For a Christian Lady, it is imperative that we set a watch over our lips, for our speech proclaims to the world who we are in our hearts, and we are to be reflecting the light of Jesus Christ. Should we suppose that someone who cannot see our hearts can truly make out the truth of love for God, His will, and for one another, when our words show disrespect, callousness, or even hate?

For any Lady, our words proclaim who we are. Yes, it did used to be true, that men would watch their language "when ladies were present". Some things were not talked about in the presence of children or the elderly, for various reasons. In fact, only 20 years ago, when I was attending speech and communication classes in university, we were told that to use foul, disrespectful, cuss-words or slang was to lower others' estimation of you, and diminish your credibility. Not from some overbearing Judeo-Christian perception did the professors point this out, but from common knowledge that a person with something to say, with dignity, self control and self respect will attempt to use the proper words for the proper things at the proper times. Using slang shows your ignorance and the fact that you just don't care - really!

How much more important then for a Lady or Gentleman who wants to present the love and peace of the Almighty God to the world to choose their words carefully? Why would a lady want to try to act like - not just any man, for there are still gentlemen among us, but - a disrespectful man with no understanding of common courtesy? Christian Ladies, please read the article referenced above.

(And if you think that watching your mouth is just a "Christian thing", check out this article that I came across yesterday: Social Responses to Swearing, in HowStuffWorks, which includes this helpful bit of observation: Western society generally views swearing as more appropriate for men than for women. Women who swear appear to violate more societal taboos than men who swear. People also tend to judge women more harshly than men for their use of obscenities.)

The way we speak is so important, and shows who we really are just as loudly as what we wear. Why Can't the English Learn to Speak? (-click for the clip from My Fair Lady)(image below: Audry Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady")

Ladies, please: it is worth it to learn to watch your phraseology!

For another old-fashioned side of this, see also Emily Post's chapter on Words, Phrases and Pronunciation, 1922.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. - James 3:10

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. - Ephesians 4:29
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