Perspective: Addicted To Words

May 7, 2020

I love words. But sometimes this romance is a curse.

I am not a word expert. But I should be.

I read and write. A lot. Oh, and I’m a journalist.

Words are my foundation — bricks for building stories. My touchstones for telling it as it is. And always, always my friends … for being there when I need them.

But … I am not a word expert. I keep a dictionary nearby. If you’re in a newsroom you can just shout.

“Help! Who knows the rule on lay vs. lie?”

“No one!” someone shouts back. “Find a different word.”

I use little tricks to remember proper spelling. I pronounce words wrong to get the spelling right.

Like “paradigm.” I know how to pronounce it but instead tend to say pair-a-dig-em to make sure I spell it correctly. For years I stumbled over the word “facade.” I pronounced it “fay-kayed,” like it’s spelled. Silly me.

I do get edgy when people abuse words. Perhaps I’m too sensitive.

Like most married people, I announce my plans when leaving a room. Such as, “I’m taking my shower now.” Every time I say that I cringe a little. I’m not really taking our shower anywhere. But it’s easier than saying, “I’m going into the shower now and get wet.”

But hey, I cringe more when my wife announces the same activity. She says, “I’m gonna hop in the shower now.”

Of course, I then mumble, “Sounds a little dangerous to me.”

You see? My romance with words can be a distraction.

And I don’t see that changing. Welcome to my world. I guess you could say my love of words has created a pair-a-dig-em that I cannot escape.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.