365 Chances To Improve
One habit that I started a few years ago is the use of calendars. I buy several different types and hang them in my office and around the house. Over the years, I have had different themes that I have enjoyed looking at for 12 months at a time. I have used sports like football, NASCAR, and baseball. My favorite was the twelve-month Dale Earnhardt calendar that shows a different picture of Dale for each month. Another type of calendar that I enjoy is a smaller, daily one that I place next to my bed. Last year I had a Coke calendar with different pictures for each day. I couldn’t find one like it for the New Year so I had to select a different theme.
After looking over a number of new possibilities, I selected a calendar that used a different word each day to help build your vocabulary. I thought this would be helpful because it would teach me new words. I could use these words in my conversations to impress people with my newfound word power! There is only one problem with my plan, I don’t know how to fit these unusual words in one of my conversations. The first word for the New Year is, “Evergreen.” The definition is, “having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season,” or “retaining freshness or interest: perennial.” Since the word has both “ever” and “green” in its name, most people know what it means in relationship to a plant or a tree. If I use the word to describe someone who retains freshness or interest, people will think I am using a word that describes plant life with a human. I don’t believe this will make me look more intelligent!
The second word in my calendar was no help either. This word was, “Tantivy,” meaning “in a headlong dash: at a gallop.” I guess I could use this word when it is raining and could tell my wife I will run “tantivy” to the car so I won’t get so wet. My wife is going to think I’m making words up just to impress her. I guess I will have to carry the individual sheets with my new words on them to show people I know what I’m talking about. Of course, that defeats the whole purpose of trying to sound intelligent. The third word from my calendar is just about as bad as the second. This word is, “Chary,” meaning “discreetly cautious: hesitant and vigilant about dangers and risks.” Maybe I could use this word when I order lunch at a restaurant. I could tell the waitress that I’m a little “chary” about the meatloaf. She would probably respond by saying that there are no little cherries in the meatloaf, but she would check if the cook would add some in. I don’t believe cherries and meatloaf would go good together. Don’t get me wrong, I like cherries, but I don’t want to explain to every waitress what I mean by “chary.”
It seems to me a person could get into trouble using words that are not commonly understood. If you have to explain the meaning of your new vocabulary to friends and strangers, it defeats the purpose of making a good impression. Proverbs 21:23 says, “If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble.” (NLT) Sometimes silence shows more intelligence that trying to use lofty words. There is nothing wrong with learning something new, but keeping it to yourself may be best. Before I go, one more word, “Cock-a-hoop,” meaning “triumphantly boastful: exulting.” Maybe I need to get a new calendar.
Remember, Don’t Give In To Sin. Think About It!
THINKIN' BOUT IT
Dr. Vincent Hefner
First Baptist Church