“Don’t use words too big for the subject.
Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left
when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
- C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was a great author and philosopher who wrote many provocative, insightful, and often entertaining works of fiction and non-fiction, including The Chronicles of Narnia series. I love his advice regarding the use of “big words”. Part of my plot for world domination involves humanity speaking in more specific, literal, and therefore accurate terms. This week’s prompt is a great example of how lazy we have become in our descriptions: it was “big”.
As part of my exploration of possibilities this month, I decided to explore this small word (I love the irony that something denoting such great size would only contain three letters). The results of this exploration left me with some quotes I would like to share with the intent to inspire you to greatness.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” So said Steve Jobs, the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple, Inc. (producer of Mac computers and all the “I” technology – iTunes, iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc.
Another name you may have heard mentioned, Winston Churchill – who ruled over England during WWII – offered another piece of wisdom: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” You may also have heard the story of how his father paid for Alexander Fleming’s schooling after Fleming saved young Winston’s life. Fleming later discovered penicillin, and is said to have saved Winston’s life a second time. (All of that is false – except the penicillin part of course.)
One final thought before you begin your week four project: President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”