What is a word worth?
Individual words are added together to create sentences and then accumulated into documents, speeches, and presentations of all types. Is one format valued or privileged over another?
A word in “Words with Friends” has a point value and is part of a competition. Will my total point value exceed yours? If yes, that game will be added into my total as a “win”. But what about the words that I have evaluated and added to my own vocabulary as a result of “playing Words with Friends” and stretching my own vocabulary use?
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
A single visual image has a value of many words. Is that value in the visual or in the words that are used to describe what we see in that image? Do I use the same words as you? What is the real value of a “thousand words”? (Or by now are you saying, “Does it really matter?”)
“Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.”
– Sigmund Freud
How is the value of words shared? Do both the author and the reader have equal responsibility? How and and when is that “power” or “value” passed from one to the other?
What is the lens that we use to consider our words? I remember Kelly Boland Hohne at #TCRWP using the “lens of language” to see more as readers.
These questions help a reader focus on how an author has used language. Is their value in talking about the power of words to help, to heal, to share, to live and even perhaps to love our friends, family, and neighbors? What about that positive or negative tone? Did the message transmit as intended? Did it perhaps go a wee bit astray? Which words are you regularly using? What message does your “word use” send to others?
How do you value words?
How do you share that value with others?
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.