The “In” Crowd.

It is the most dreaded of all words.

“Insufficient.”

The two-letter prefix “in” changes everything. What was positive becomes negative. What made us smile or sigh in relief, that little “in” makes us hold our breath and then groan.

I read this book recommendation:

“As a career-long educator and a parent of teenagers, I found this book to be invaluable.

Was that a huge recommendation or a total dismissal? So big I can’t set a value on it, or without any value at all?

Can you think of other words that “in” is confusing? Now I’m suspicious when someone says, “Your blog is invaluable.”

Insignificant, insufficient, invaluable, inconsequential and insincere. Non-essential is easier to understand, but leaves little wiggle room.

From a blog by Sam Ranier. (He is an author, podcaster and pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church):

Every negative word has the power of one hundred positive words.  This idea comes from one of my mentors, Brad Waggoner. He challenged me to rethink the way I communicate, both personally and professionally.

Think of encouragement and discouragement on different sides of a scale. One hundred pieces of encouragement weigh the same as one piece of discouragement. 

Avoid these more powerful forms. 

Cynicism. This form of negativity is driven by a lack of hope. The cynic assumes the worst in people.

Speculation. Another powerful form of negativity occurs when you speculate about someone’s motives, assuming they are driven by self-interest.

Misinformation. Being negative without having all the facts….

Selectivity. This person uses only part of the story to emphasize negativity….

The political world, especially in political season, doesn’t bother with fact-checking and loves to generalize and practice scorched earth verbal policies. Campaigning often is an excuse for truth becoming thin—not transparent, but so thin you see right through it. Hyperbole is big!

hyperbole

[hīˈpərbəlē]

NOUN

Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

synonyms:

exaggeration · overstatement · magnification · amplification · embroidery · embellishment ·              overplaying · excess · overkill · purple prose · puffery

I love hyperbole when I’m describing an event or situation or when I count a crowd. “That ‘strike’ was three & one-half feet off the plate.” Senator Kennedy of Louisiana uses hyperbole effectively when he says things like,

“(This country) hasn’t had a budget since Moses walked the earth.”

Hyperbole is excused in politics even when lies are introduced; until lies and character canceling becomes course par.

I’m giving thought and thanks for those people who are and who make contributions that are…

    Sincere

     Significant

    Valuable

    Sufficient

     Consequential

Checking out of the in-crowd

©2020 D. Dean Benton—Writer & Wonderer

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