The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Columns

July 26, 2013

Verna Davis: When eloquence eludes, try 'talking good'

I'm constantly struggling to keep from correcting grammar goofs that pop up in everyday conversations. I cringe when participles dangle, pronouns don't have an antecedent, and subjects and verbs don't agree. But I have to keep reminding myself that what people say is way more important than how they say it.

While grammar gaffes grate on my nerves, mispronounced words have a different effect. They make me laugh. When I hear someone's rough has a leak, I know they mean roof. When I hear someone ask what is playing at the theeater, I know they mean theater. Ask me for a nakin and I will hand you a napkin. And if you oral the hinge on my backdoor, I know you will need use oil to get the job done. But those words will also make me giggle a bit, too.

I remember the time the voice from the box outside my car window said, "Welcome to Booger King. May I help you?" I couldn't answer because I was laughing. But the voice just asked louder, "Welcome to Booger King. May I help you?"

I told the box I wanted a large diet Coke. No sandwiches for me, please. Not here, anyway. I shuddered to think how a sandwich made of kingly boogers would look, let alone how they would taste! (It would do well for B.K. employees to remember that burgers come from cows. Boogers most decidedly do not!)

People often say that they don't tell others about Christ because they "don't talk good." They say they don't know how to speak well and get really nervous. They say they don't know the right words to say. So they leave the evangelism up to those who can "talk good" and know what to say or how to say it.

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