Wednesday, August 13, 2008

11 Words & Their Forgotten Meanings

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.

~ Henry Brooks Adams (The Education of Henry Adams, 1907)

I was thinking about this all day... about how we have forgotten the meaning of certain words, especially the eleven that I am about to define below. Here they are, in no particular order:

Love - a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of sexual desire and a passion

Honesty - freedom from deceit or fraud; truthfulness; sincerity or frankness

Respect - esteem for or sense of the worth or excellence of a person; a personnel quality or ability

Integrity -adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character and honesty

Friendship - the state of being a friend; association as friends; to value a person's friendship

Truth - the true or actual state of a matter; honesty, integrity, truthfulness

Commitment - the act of committing; a pledge or promise; obligation; engagement or involvement

Honour - honesty, fairness or integrity in one's belief's or actions

Moral - pertaining to or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical, moral attitudes

Virtue - moral excellence; goodness and righteousness

Soul - the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body and commonly held to be separable in the existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part

(Thanks to for those definitions)

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, but it's words that are used to define our actions. So, when you find yourself about to use one of those eleven words above, ask yourself if it really expresses how you feel. For example, when you tell someone that you "love" them, do your actions towards that person reflect the definition of "love" -- or, are you simply using the word with total disregard for its actual meaning?



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