The same words have different meanings as used by different people. Among honorable people, the test of truth is the meaning which words are intended to convey to others. Any want of faithfulness to our spoken word reduces us to impotence in relation to other people.
Talleyrand said cynically “Language was given to man to enable him to conceal his thoughts.” I remember hearing of a professed Christian who had just passed through Bankruptcy Court and felt himself somewhat comforted by calling it an ‘episode.‘ He likes the vagueness of the word ‘episode’ that bears no effect on his feelings as a bad creditor.So away with ‘Bankruptcy ‘ and in with ‘episode.’
With Arnold of Rugby no attempt at seeking further proof of an assertion made by any of the boys at school was necessary. ” If you say so,” he would say, ” that’s quite enough; ofcourse I believe your word.” Inconsequence, there grew up a general feeling that ” It is a shame to tell a lie; yet he always believes one” (a lie).
A person never discloses his own character more clearly than when describing another person. The critic will briskly bustle through a litany of everybody’s faults. There may be calculated banter, in which you see that he carries a sword as well a scabbard. (Sheath).
Gossip is the art of saying nothing, in a way that leaves nothing unsaid. If nobody ever listened to a gossip nobody would ever tell it. Make the audience deaf and you make the gossiper dumb. ” I might want to repeat what you told me. Have you any objections to my using your name?” you ask the gossiper. ” Oh, I would not have my name mentioned for all the world .” You reply ” Then don’t tell me anything further about this matter.”
When Paul said to the Corinthian, ” It was declared unto me by them which are of the house of Chloe,” he was not repeating gossip. He identified the informers.The information from Chloe’s house is credible.
The worst thing about speaking without thinking is you say what you think. Some people are gifted with the genius of always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or what ought not to be said at all. They tell people ‘ where to get off,’ but never tell them where to get on.
There are stock phrases and worn- out bits of dialogue that we still use to help us in our social intercourse. Some people who get ahead in their subjects, and take care always to start the conversation themselves, so that they will show off their boundless knowledge and control of the conversation, self appointed speaker.