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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

4 August 2010: Monica Ditmas, St Mary's, Buriton

So much meaning in the language we are using

You may have heard of the confused little girl who said: "How can I know what I think till I hear what I say?"

Language is far more than a convenient way of communicating, isn't it? And they way it changes both reflects and causes big cultural changes is our society.

Sometimes words simply change their meaning like gay and cool.

But others virtually vanish and are replaced by something similar of a similar but lesser meaning.

For instance nowadays we almost never use the word reverence - we've replaced it with respect.

They're not the same are they? And it is not just the word that is vanishing - when did you last hear the word sin?

Now it's just a mistake or inappropriate behaviour.

Maybe Christian should make a point of using these words as part of their ordinary day-to-day speech, so that the concepts behind them don't vanish altogether.

What a terrible impoverishment that would be.

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