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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"You Say Tomato..."

Words are tricky things, aren't they? When Ira Gershwin wrote the lyric to "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" (containing the phrase in the title line above), he used differences in pronounciation to get to his larger point about how tricky the whole business of communication is. To that I say "amen".

For example, I was recently describing to someone how I've tried to be purposeful in my life. I started by describing how I'd planned several cross country trips to coincide with times when I was preparing to change jobs because one of my goals since graduating college has been to visit every one of the states. As the conversation continued, I gave other examples of times I've tried to be purposeful.

Later in the same conversation, this person described someone they knew and how selfish that person was. When I asked what she meant by selfish, the examples given sounded quite similar to some I had used describing my purposeful decisions. When was the last time you recognized how tricky words can be, i.e. how your tomato can be someone else's tomahto? Please share them with me and others who might be reading.

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