I study words. I study the way people speak. It’s a strange hobby but I like it. In the spirit of glasses being half full or half empty, I look for how I want to express myself face-to-face or on the computer screen. Life has its share of suffering for all of us but I wonder if our words can uplift the world. Of course they can. We simply have to choose. Even in the heat of the moment we can enhance or diminish.
Today I’m reflecting on phrases that are termed double negatives. Not just one deficit thought aimed at our fellow man, but two. Let’s take “No problem”. That phrase is meant to be a positive but there’s something subtly sinister hiding under the surface, I think. How about “Good” as an alternative? That feels better.
Here are some other word groupings that can invade our psyches:
1. Not insignificant
2. I do not disagree.
3. I can’t hardly believe …
4. Less unhealthy cigarettes
5. There is hardly no worse challenge.
6. I am not, no way, ever going to help her.
7. Congress decided not to refuse to delay the vote …
8. I’m not saying he isn’t honest.
9. I choose to not allow negativity to seep away at my soul.
Am I just talking the rules of grammar here? No. I choose to put positive energy into the world and therefore I’m vigilant about the words I use. May I never be hypnotized by convention.