I've been thinking about language...

Venting: A Chance To Speak Express Frustration Graciously

The Scottsdale Tribune has a column on the Opinion page entitled The Vent. Individuals e-mail their comments to vent@evtrib.com or phone comments to (480) 898-6806. Every once in a while I read The Vent to see how our society is expressing itself. One day back in June of 2008 I read this comment directed to someone who shot and killed a grandmother. "You are a dirty little coward. I hope the gates of hell open up and invade your dreams with the slimiest demons there can be and eat your soul until you are nothing but a quivering, blubbering mass in the gutter where you belong."

I kept this particular column because of the imaginative language this person used in venting his or her opinion. I am not sure I could come up with this particular line of verbiage if my life depended on it! And so, here is a model of how to say something intensely without using filthy language. And this leads me to the topic for this blog...language.

Each time I open my mouth, I must make a choice about the way I will speak, the language I will use. Most of the time when I think about language, I think about the very practical Scripture in Ephesians 4:29 that instructs me not to use "corrupting talk" or evil speech, meaning "rotten" or "putrid" speech. Instead, I am to use talk that is good for building up and giving grace. To "give grace" is to speak in a way that benefits others.

Every once in a while, when the occasion calls for it, it is important to know how to say something potently strong but with language that is not foul or objectionable. Let's be honest, it takes no effort or creativity to reinforce our headlong downward spiral as a society into bad choices in morals, manners, actions and language. On the other hand, it takes great wit and wisdom to vent in a vigorous and emotional way while still choosing to convey dignity and honor on others who are listening or as in this case reading us. Hats off then, to our expressive venter, who made the choice to do it the hard way and who is still remembered for it!!!