Blunt Force Trauma

"These words are razors to my wounded heart." ~William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

Photo courtesy of mustafahacalaki on Flickr.


Ask anyone who knows me well and you'll learn that words are among my favorite things. I love words. I love reading, writing, word games and I've been known to search the dictionary or thesaurus from time to time just to see what I can find. You would think that someone so in tune with language would think twice about what they say … and I do, but not enough.

We all know the old rhyme: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I'd like to think that we all realize as we grow older that there isn't a shred of truth in that little sing-song saying. Words carry far more force than we often realize and everyone I know has been a victim of the blunt force trauma of language. Most of us are also guilty of being the assailant at some time or another… perhaps unconsciously, yet guilty all the same.

"And a word carries far --very far-- deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space." ~Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

I guess I'm simply throwing out a reminder to everyone (including myself) to be careful what you say to other people. Ponder your words and your feelings carefully before opening your mouth. The human memory has an amazing ability to recall things it has heard word-for-word when it wants to and something that may have seemed innocent months ago when it was said can come back to feel like a bludgeoning baseball bat.

So… think twice before speaking, whispering, yelling, or writing in any type of highly charged emotional situation. This does not extend simply to insults. There have been a myriad of instances regarding misplaced complements, endearments and words that initially appear harmless. You may knock the wind out of someone and I think we all know what regret feels like. It's easier for me to regret something that I've said than pretty much anything else in life.

"Really it is very wholesome exercise, this trying to make one's words represent one's thoughts, instead of merely looking to their effect on others." ~Elizabeth Gaskell, Cousin Phillips

None of us wants to suffer from blunt force trauma. We shouldn't long to inflict it either.


  1. The old words still sting, though they no longer wound. Any bruises are long since healed.

  2. Sometimes healing takes longer than anticipated, but "yes" the old wounds do heal.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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