Verbal Candy

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about bullying.  About how it doesn’t exist solely on the playground.  About how pervasive it is in our society.  About how it needs to stop.

I received a couple of comments in response to that post.  The comments led me to wonder…

…do those of us who gravitate towards words (writing, reading) feel the sting of verbal barbs and taste the sweetness of verbal candy more deeply than those who gravitate towards, I don’t know, arithmetic?

I’m not aiming for flippant with that question.  I truly want to know.

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9 thoughts on “Verbal Candy

  1. I don’t think so. Perhaps we are more sensitive to nuances in language, so react to more subtle attacks. but you don’t have to have a love of language to know when you are being bullied, as bullying comes in so many different forms.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Lisa. I agree bullying comes in so many forms. I suppose my question really centers around the word lovers’ sensitivity to language. Are we, as word lovers, a little more sensitive OR a lot more sensitive to those nuances, particularly as compared to those who don’t love words like we do?

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      • Hm, I wonder. But really, most of the people I know who are more mathematically inclined still find some of the power of words, even if they don’t choose to use them in the same way we do. It’s an interesting question.

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  2. I doubt as “wordies” we feel the sting any more than a mathematical or scientific minded person, but I do think we analyze the language and meaning/motivation behind it more. I cannot tell you how many times in my life, when talking to my mom, husband, best friend etc., while talking through an event or incident, I have heard the phrase, “I think you are reading too much into this.” Or even,, “Why are you letting what “so&so” said bother you so much?”

    To answer your question from the comment above, I would say that I am a lot more sensitive.

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    • Jen, thank you. Lord knows I’m a lot more sensitive too and I’ve heard those phrases a zillion times. Probably why I’m looking for answers! 🙂

      I like your point about how we analyze the language and nuances more. Whether verbal or written, I’m always looking for the underlying meaning and context.

      Here’s another thought: I visualize in words so I actually “see” whatever is being said, complete with bold, italics, and the action of the word (i.e. if the word “punch” is used in the context of a fight, I see the word “punch” punching something.) Do other wordies do this? Might this have an impact on our sensitivity level?

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  3. I agree with Lisa’s first comment, that maybe we are quicker to notice the more subtle insults or jabs because we pay such close attention to words already. At the end of the day, though, I’d say people are hurt the same by taunting or bullying.

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  4. Jamie always tells me I over analyze everything. I don’t think it’s because I have a fondness for words, so much as it’s a sickness of mine to formulate my own interpretation of what everyone is saying to me. That goes both ways too – positive comments are hugely uplifting, while negative comments feel like a personal attack.

    The reality of the comments probably lies somewhere in the middle, but if someone tells me my butt looks good in a pair of jeans, there are two mental reactions: 1) No shit, of course it looks fantastic – my ass is a temple; 2) They totally want me…

    If it’s a negative comment, there are also two mental reactions: 1) What an a$$hole; 2) Am I really suck a f#$%up?

    In reality, my ass needs work and I’m not really a f#$%up – I’m just your typical (significantly) above-average, every day Joe and ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride. Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no… 🙂

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    • Dork. 🙂

      Jamie’s correct. We both over analyze everything. Probably a family trait. There are only two differences between you and I:
      1) nothing will break YOUR stride and
      2) my butt actually does look good in a pair of jeans. 😛

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