Tag Archives: language

Chillax, New Words Are Ok…Sometimes

436736-scrabble-geocacheChillax. Language is a strange thing. It is always changing, always adapting to different vocabularies, levels of education, cultural influences, and the use of slang. In every generation, wordsmiths struggle to stay current while words and meanings change every day. It is even more challenging these days as gigabits of web jargon flood popular culture.

So how do language experts keep relevant with all those changes? Simple. Every now and then, they update. This Wednesday, we are going to see a big update…well, a big one if you play Scrabble.

This Wednesday, language expert Merriam-Webster will release the 5th addition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. In an effort to keep Scrabble relevant after 66-years, Webster is adding 5,000 new words! Though some traditionalists say, “it was fine the way it was,” many are applauding the effort to bring Scrabble to a new generation.

The update comes 10 years after the last addition, and includes technical jargon such as “vlog,” “geocache,” and newbies such as “selfie,” “hashtag,” and “buzzkill.” Some additions seem to have questionable staying power, such as, “frenemy,” “bromance,” “meh,” and “chillax.” Others should have been in a long time ago, such as “schmutz,” “texter,” and “funplex.” Finally, a couple latecomers include “mixtape” and “beatbox.”

The Bible has gone through a few changes over the years too. A short generation or two ago, everyone used the King James. Many newer translations such as the NASB and the ESV have been applauded as using relevant, understandable language while remaining true to the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic of the original manuscripts.

Regardless of translation, though, there are things that must be understood from every version, every language, and every preacher who preaches the truth of the Word. God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), through and by His Son (Colossians 1:16). Everyone who believes in Him (John 3:16), is baptized into Him (Rom 6:3-9), and walks in the light (1 John 1:7) will see eternal salvation.

If the Words of the Bible you are reading don’t tell you that important message, then you might as well throw it out. Adding words to Scrabble might not make purists happy, but adding and subtracting words that change the meaning of salvation will cause curses to fall upon those who would pervert the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19).

We are not perfect messengers, and we admit our personal shortcomings, but if we speak the perfect message of scripture, the perfect Word of God will fulfill its perfect purpose.

Fired for (BLEEP) Language

A.J. Clemente was excited about his first day on the job…until he opened his mouth. If you haven’t caught the news yet, here’s what happened. Clemente was on his first day as a news anchor for Bismarck, North Dakota’s KFYR-TV. While waiting for the “on-air” signal, he was reviewing the news he had to read, when he came across some very difficult Russian names he couldn’t pronounce. In frustration, he uttered a string of profanity. The problem? They had already gone live!

Since KFYR-TV is an NBC subsidiary, his gaffe got him national attention and an interview on the Today show. Between Tweets, FB, and media coverage, Clemente has gotten more press than he ever would have as a Bismarck anchor. Many have rallied to his side. In fact, in a poll, America says he shouldn’t have gotten fired by 3 to 1 (75%/25%). Has profanity become so common place among us? If so, why the firing? Are the producers that out of touch with the “new” American values?

Clemente, to his credit, has apologized to the public and said his mother “didn’t raise him to speak that way.” We all deserve a 2nd chance, and with all the media attention he has gotten, I’m sure he will end up with an even better job than the one he had. But this incident should cause us to pause and reflect on where we are as a society.

The bible is clear on the kind of language that ought to come out of our mouths. In Colossians 3:8, Paul writes, “But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication out of your mouth.” He continues in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” These words echo the sentiment of Christ as written in Matthew 15:18-20, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

Are the producers of KFYR-TV the only ones who value these truths? I hope not! A “word fitly spoken” is our goal. May we all give some thought to what proceeds from our mouths.