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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


The other day a question pounced upon my mind like a Canadian lynx on a snowshoe rabbit in mid-December about 20 miles north of the Minnesota border. The question? Exactly where is that place called yonder?

To answer my own question – something that I do occasionally – I’ve decided that the precise yonder location cannot be determined without additional facts included in the conundrum. These could include the approximate distance, the time of day, the season of the year, the temperature and a well-known, easily identifiable object near that location.

For instance, if I told Grandpa that Ole Blue had a raccoon treed down yonder by the crick, he wouldn’t know where I was talking about. But if it was about 1:30pm on December 28th and the temperature was 47 degrees and I told him that Ole Blue had treed a raccoon over yonder about a hoot and a holler up the crick in that old sweet-gum tree with the big, funny looking knot about half-way up the bole, grandpa would be able to walk right to the very tree and look the critter in the eyes.

In fact, the very non-preciseness of the word may be its undoing – this since our modern, computer age demands things precise. Yonder seems to be in the process of passing into the abyss of modern language non-usage. But is there a tried and true word worthy enough to take its place? A word that has stood the test of time and can fill the huge void that yonder would leave?

The word “there” – or the more precise “over there” – would be a likely candidate even though it doesn’t flow nearly so well. I lament the fact that our language is not only “dumbing” down, but it is losing most of its colorfulness. I resent the chopped up usage of slang and half-words expressing things that shouldn’t be happening anyway - and that done in a very belligerent sort of way.

Many very expressive words have already slipped into the black hole of nearly forgotten-ness. What happened to the expression “hither and yon”? In the past this could be used to give forth a very poignant message, easily understood and yet very colorful in its issuance.

Hither and thither have been replaced by the supposed more precise, new and chopped off, here and there – but where is the romance in that? These older words are so seldom used today that if you asked your teenager where they had been and they said hither and thither, the possibility of fainting dead away would exist.

Long gone also are forthwith and forsooth, I could start using them once again except for the fact that I would have to explain to most people what they meant. Alas and alack, as well as woe is me are not used either, I think they went out with the tearing of ones clothes and the putting of ashes on ones head.

So many crude and obscene words have crept into the language that a lot of folks should be rated “R” – or worse – in their conversations. They say they have a right to say what they want – but what happened to my right not to hear that? It’s as though they don’t know any words of over four letters – and have no interest in learning such.

Even sadder still is that so many don’t know the real meaning of words such as salvation, redeemed, purity and love. Possibly true because they get their word definitions from TV, movies and other media. With regular words we can go back to the dictionary for the real meanings, but for the aforementioned words, the full meanings can only be found in the pages of the Bible – God’s Word.

These words are farther defined in the lives of the adherents of the Word and in the daily living of the true meanings thereof. Is the way I live my life totally defining the word “Christian” in its truest sense? ec


Blogger jay are said...

a word lover! Yay! a word ponderer! Yay!
Enjoying your blog.......

11/23/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger nathan said...

Mr. Eddie,
Sometimes I don't take the time to consider what it is that I am saying and will just toss words around with reckless abandon. God has been dealing with me about trusting in Him more. When I do, I think He uses that to show people around me what His love is and what it's like to be redeemed. It's all God and to Him goes the glory.

May you and your family have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving and hope you get to eat some peaches with Breyers ice cream(with real vanilla specs).

11/23/2005 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What about "hither, thither and yon?"

The Brits still use "whilst." I like that too and toss it in every now and then.

11/23/2005 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

How could I have forgotten "yon"? The "Whilst" is good, need to mix that into something in the near future. ec

11/23/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jay are - thanks for stopping by.

nathan - I'm not sure but I think the Breyers is having something to do with my waist size. I need to do some checking on that. :)

11/23/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Using up the words.... said...

Mr Eddie,

Thanks for stoping by, and for making me think with this one. I'll be back for more food later. :)

thoughts flying.

God bless.

11/23/2005 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger J. Grace said...

Mr. Eddie,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You know it was nice to read someone else's random thoughts. I have to tell you I am quiet familiar with "yonder". Me and my family grew up over "yonder" in Kentucky. I also quiet familar with giving directions by feet. Always its drive about 1000 feet or 500 feet. It's funny how one word can take on so many different meanings all depending on who is using it and why. Versatility the world should try it.

J. Grace~

11/24/2005 11:29:00 PM  

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