I read a newspaper article recently that was suggesting that the average teenager has a vocabulary of over 40,000 words but they use only 800 on a daily basis. I was surprised with this as when my two boys were teenagers I would have welcomed a daily vocabulary of 8 words, let alone 800! As with most teenagers, when talking to parents, most of our conversations consisted of a variety of grunts and words like ‘nowhere’, ‘nothing’ and ‘yeah’. These were responses to questions like, “Where are you going?” or “Where have you been?”, “What have you been doing?”, “You’re not really going out dressed like that are you?” The only time that they attempted anything approaching a full sentence usually went something like …… “Dad, can I borrow some money?” Even that was a poor use of words because their definition of ‘borrow’ and mine had nothing whatsoever in common!
We seem to live in an age when words appear to be at a premium. Those who use Twitter a lot will know that there is the restriction of 140 characters per Tweet. Many people use a completely different and often unintelligible text ‘speak’. I wonder if this is linked to the fast paced life that we are almost forced to live nowadays? Words are so important, as highlighted by the following quote:Watch your thoughts, they become your words Watch your words, they become your actions Watch your actions, they become your habits Watch your habits, they become your character Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
We talk to ourselves every day, thousands of conversations, all reinforcing our attitudes and beliefs. Have you ever noticed that if someone says something unpleasant to you, you then replay that conversation over and over again in your head. If the words used were associated with some emotions then those emotions come flooding back each time you have that talk with yourself. You only need someone to tell you once that you are rubbish you will then take over and repeat that conversation to yourself until you begin to believe it. It is so important that we use the words that we do so carefully. It is equally as important that when someone says something negative to you that you don’t give it credence by accepting it and then replaying it inside your head until it becomes the ‘truth’.