Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rachel Hedman: So I heard the nice to the not-so-nice one day. . .

When parents want to avoid certain words, have you noticed that the "not-so" is added into the conversation?

I heard a comment from a young mom during Sunday School on July 19, 2009 around 2:20pm at the Johnson City, TN Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The mom shared what she usually told her child, "Why, when I'm being nice, you are being not-so-nice back?"

Ah, the parent/child relationship.

Adults tend to skip saying certain words like "stupid", "dumb", and "mean" as if they are swear words. That is. . .when kids are around.

However, this mom made this comment when a roomful of adults. Of course, she was referring to a dialogue with her daughter and must have kept the "not-so-nice" part of it for authenticity.

If most of your time is spent with children, then keeping the "not-so" phrase becomes habit.

The "not-so" phrase also emphasizes the desired trait in the intended listener.

After Sunday School, I attended the Women Meeting called Relief Society.

This time, with a roomful of women, we could be our true selves.

Out came the giggles.

And what did we have. . .but a spotlight of one of the women? Interestingly, we call each other "sisters" whether or not there was a biological connection. The same is for the men, only they are "brothers".

Similar to sibling relationships, we heard the Relief Society President declare, "You're in the limelight!"

Ah, the sister/sister relationship.

And where did the term "limelight" come from?

There once was a surveyor named Thomas Drummond who invented the limelight in 1825. His invention grew in popularity despite some competition from an English chemist named Goldsworthy Gurney who invented a similar light.

The chemicals in the light were calcium oxide also known as the chemical compound lime. It was contained in a hot hydrogen-oxygen flame so that the white light was bright enough to use in lighthouses and to survey land. People said that the light could be seen 100 miles or more away.

Eventually, the theaters discovered that the limelight was safer to use than the gas light currently on stage. They switched. An actor in the limelight was someone "center stage and the center of attention". Naturally, people said the phrase "in the limelight". Limelight has now been replaced by a safer lighting technology.

Back to Relief Society with the women.

To this limelight line, a lady in a violet dress said, "You're blowing it out of proportion!"

This kind of blowing relates to the air that "blows" out of our mouths to describe things. The bigger the words or the more grandiose the achievements, then the more "blows" or breaths. Suddenly, the words do not fit the achievements.

Towards the end of the Relief Society meeting, a lady in a blue dress said, "I try to put myself in that person's shoes."

The original saying was "Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his boots." According to lexicographer Harris Collis, this phrase is one of the 101 most frequently used American proverbs. Thus, judgment should not be passed until one has done those exact feats. Instead of the word "judge", it could be replaced with "criticize". Instead of the word "boots", it could be replaced with "boots".

So "not-so-bad" of blowing out some judgment on words?

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
(801) 870-5799

No comments: