Why do I choose my words carefully? Why do I speak in a very measured way? When I email why do I write in full sentences? Why do I wear formal clothes in the workplace? When I greet people why do I shake them by the hand? Why do I stand up when a person enters the room? When I address someone why do I avoid making up a nickname?
The answer is conflict. There is so much of it in the world that I would like not to add to it. People do not seem to realise that in being informal in the way they speak and act that they inadvertently cause conflict, whether it be at the relationship/family level, the school or workplace level, the national level or the international level. If we could all make sure that the words we use are not misunderstood then surely there would be less conflict between people and therefore less unhappiness in the world. You can say anything you want to people about the most difficult topic, if you say it with politeness and sincerity.
How do you do this? Well, it is in the word choices you make. All trees are green but they are not all the same colour. To be able to describe your feelings using different words, so that they are “neutral” and not containing the colourful language that people seem to like using would be of great help. The problem is that, even as infants, we learn language from each other, and if that language is exaggerated or excessive then we may believe that this is the best way to speak. So, in my view, getting the words accurate to what I mean is important, getting the punctuation correct is important and getting the manners right is important. In the words of Eric Burdon of ‘The Animals’: ‘Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”.