Words Shape Identity

Yesterday at the college, we heard a lexicographer speak.  Ever heard a lexicographer speak?  We listened to Grant Barrett – co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program Way with Words.

In my research, I have come to learn that words shape identity.  A single word spoken at the wrong time can set an identity for a lifetime.

I loved that he painted a picture of the way in which words shape us.  It could be a migration pattern.  It could have been a trade route.  It could have a renaming of a fruit.  Words impress upon us worlds.  His hope was that we use the data available to us to become more self aware of our usage of words.  Words can be so emotional.  It can bring about feelings from deep within us.  I am still processing through his ideas, but I just had to share.

Can you think of ways that a word has shaped you?

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