Each thing has its word, but the word has become a thing by itself. Why shouldn't I find it? Why can't a tree be called Pluplusch, and Pluplubasch when it has been raining? The word, the word, the word outside your domain, your stuffiness, this laughable impotence, your stupendous smugness, outside all the parrotry of your self-evident limitedness. The word, gentlemen, is a public concern of the first importance.
Praise the name of baseball. The word will set captives free. The word will open the eyes of the blind. The word will raise the dead. Have you the word of baseball living inside you? Has the word of baseball become part of you? Do you live it, play it, digest it, forever? Let an old man tell you to make the word of baseball your life. Walk into the world and speak of baseball. Let the word flow through you like water, so that it may quicken the thirst of your fellow man.
Both Christianity and Islam are logocentric,"¯ he told his students, "meaning they are focused on the Word. In Christian tradition, the Word became flesh in the book of John: 'And the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt among us.' Therefore, it was acceptable to depict the Word as having a human form. In Islamic tradition, however, the Word did not become flesh, and therefore the Word needs to remain in the form of a word ... in most cases, calligraphic renderings of the names of the holy figures of Islam.
Oversimplifying somewhat, honoring your word as we define it means you either keep your word (do what you said you would do and by the time you said you would do it), or as soon as you know that you will not, you say that you will not to those who were counting on your word and clean up any mess caused by not keeping your word.
Whatever else the true preaching of the word would need to include, it at least would have to be a word that speaks from the perspective of those who have been crushed and marginalized in our society. It would need to be a word of solidarity, healing and love in situations of brokenness and despair and a disturbing and troubling word of justice to those who wish to protect their privilege by exclusion.
Sometimes, when I am tired of so many oscillations, I look for refuge in a word which I begin to love for itself. Resting in the heart of words, seeing clearly into the cell of a word, feeling that the word is the seed of a life, a growing dawn... The poet Vandercammen says all that in a line: "A word can be a dawn and even a sure shelter."
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out always cut it out. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
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