Although let it be said that she predictably drew the line when I suggested the fifth Elton John track. Months after graduating, she was dead.

Be that as it may, this exercise sharpened my keenness for listening to lyrics rather than warbling along, making up my own version of them in off-key karaoke.

Composers, like the rest of us, think that poetic license covers a multitude of sins; that it gives the right to mangle language to fit the tune by chopping syllables, extending vowels, removing consonants, and adding la-la-la-la when these ruses are not possible.

Skies are mostly blue or grey; life is either a fairy-tale or worth living; people wait for love and tomorrow; they believe in yesterday and angels. Strangers used to be lovers, or will become so once the introductions are made. Love is in the air, all around us, and, of course, a many-splendored thing.

Country songs rarely had a happy ending, and when they did it only came about after one would have endured fire and flood, and blood, sweat and tears would have been shed, and sundry other troubles would have been endured and overcome.

Language is a versatile tool. It is used to communicate, cheer, and comfort, or to harm, hinder, and hurt. Pundits profess to know it all. Self-styled experts dole out unwarranted and unwanted advice. And others are spending their time gossiping and slandering others, or withhold talking altogether.

When language is used to divide, rather than to unite, it's as if one who boasts of being a polyglot will only go as far as using bad language in his fifteen lingoes. 

When we communicate with others, honest yet respectful, we will be able to hear one another's real issues. Try to use your words wisely from now on, and think about what you say before you say it. You never know who might be hurt by that sarcastic joke or quip remark. It's time to give a new meaning altogether to the phrase, "Mind your language."

Speech Bubbles

Natter, tattle, prattle, chatter.
Speech, discussion, conversation, dialogue.
Words tear down or build up;
words are good, bad, or indifferent.
Words make whole or shatter;
give solace or create aggravation.

Please make my words balm unto others.
Help me improve my language skills to include,
as second-nature, only three-word phrases:
I understand you; I am available; I need you;
I am sorry; I can help; I support you.
And, most importantly,
I love you.

-Tanja Cilia


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