Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Synonyms

Even among real synonyms there is a difference in the emotional response to the word. We are careful to use the better sounding word. These are not euphemisms.

Here are some examples:

Medicine and Medication—We do not wish to take our medicine, but we are eager to take our medication. Medication makes us well. Medicine is unpleasant to take. However, it is the same stuff.

Here is another example:

The Shroud of Turin or The grave clothes of Torino.

One phrase has a holy sound to it. The other, a commonplace, vulgar sound.

In evangelical Christianity we have, in English, different ways to pronounce the Lord’s name.

Jeeeesus or the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are we talking about the same person? The first emphasizes the long e, the vowel, and speaks to the emotions. The second emphasizes the consonants and carries more meaning even though we are talking about the same person.

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