Checking our use of language


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


The Wednesday Whisper

The importance of noticing the words we use

A headline in the press reads FED-UP holidaymakers have skulked back from France today after the last-minute amber list quarantine rule change’ I noticed the word ‘Skulk’ and wondered how that made it into the headline. I looked up the definition and here’s what I found:

  1. to move in a stealthy or furtive manner
  2. to hide or conceal something (such as oneself) often out of cowardice or fear or with sinister intent

I wondered how many of those people would be content to be described as ‘skulking’. I imagined people really needing to make decisions that affect their work, their families and their economics. And I imagined people trying to do the best they can in an ever changing world. And I guess that not all of them were holidaymakers.

Headlines like this can define groups of people so that we learn to approve or disapprove instead of trying to understand. As the world is rapidly changing, we are going to need more mercy, more compassion and more understanding.

A simple headline would have read UK residents head back from France today after the last-minute amber list quarantine rule change’.


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 

I like to be alert to how our choice of language and the definitions we use can affect our ability to see our humanity in all its messiness.


The Wednesday Whisper 

Who have you defined with a single word and who defined you that way?

I’ll be taking a break from the blog in August so there will be a blog next week and then again on 1st September.


If you like this blog, please share it far and wide.

And don’t forget to leave a comment.