Category Archives: Language (linguistic) distinctions

Large vs intimate audience

There are two rather different ways of doing fb: keeping one’s friends list relatively small or building it up to around 5,000. The first method keeps people who basically share the same interests and opinions without too much dissent while the latter prefers a more varied group of Interlocutors.

Sometimes a mixture of the two types of fb users can be unsettling. I can’t tell you how many times I’d say something and no fewer than 10-12 people assumed it was written to them personally! On the other hand, someone with about 300 ‘friends’ has only about 30 people at any one time to consider and sometimes feels slighted when a person with nearly 5,000 plus 2,000 followers doesn’t see their posts!

No commentary, no judgement, no advice – just an observation.

To use or not to use CAPS

I EARNESTLY MAINTAIN that whereas a good book affords the reader an ample number of pages – even chapters – to develop the point that is on a writer’s heart and there would be no need for occasional introductory CAPITAL LETTERS, in a relatively and mercifully brief social media post, they can serve a most effective purpose. They can inform the reader that the REALLY URGENT point is here (not 70-80 pages to come)!
I tend to shy away from posts written in all caps because it defeats the whole purpose of using them for emphasis but being super-sensitive to the point of being offended by any use of capital letters for the sake of brevity ought to be re-examined.
I hold a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in English and I can tell you that placing an *asterisk before a word does not tell billions of prospective readers that this is the CRITICAL PART that the author is leading up to.

Secular Language Glitches

I put out a “list” of Christian terminology that is undergoing an upgrade. Being a multi-linguist myself (and please don’t tell me they have an ointment for that!), I am painfully aware of secular language glitches that just won’t quit! “I am sure”, It must be” “It has to be” “I know it is” all denote tentativeness, uncertainty! How in the blazes can we ever be sure? Leave out the adjectival phrases altogether, and simply state your case.
Then we need to take into consideration cultural differences. I wanted to thank a guy for his thoughtfulness, and started to write “you’re so sweet”. Then I worried that it might not be perceived like Jonathan Swift’s Sweetness and Light in Nigeria.
Woe is us. Communication is getting more and more complex despite all the shortcuts that telegraphic, internet language and pictographs afford. Haven’t you done the same thing: write – delete – write – delete, and finally go to your gallery and send them a pic instead?

There are some people (like me) who enjoy probing deeply into hidden Bible images and meanings. But this is NOT NECESSARY for an intimate relation with God. Nor is it even necessary for gaining knowledge from the Word, found in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is sufficient to guide you in your walk with Jesus and in your study.

“A matter of semantics!”

It boggles the mind how “a matter of semantics” (subtlety of linguistic meaning) can tear people apart whose beliefs are otherwise compatible. Is God moved by faith? I thought his work was completely finished.

I exercise faith when I sit on a chair without inspecting it to determine its safety. Strictly speaking I “choose” to breathe the air that God has provided. God’s kingdom is advancing by virtue of the fact that in reality it’s already here; and faith enables us to wake up to the realm of the real.