Word Nerd Wednesday: Let it Flow

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! September is leading the way toward fall (glory, hallelujah!) and as summer draws to a close, so too does my Word Nerd Wednesday series. I’ll be starting a new series of something entirely different in October. I can’t wait to tell you about it, but for now, for our final word story, I’d like to introduce you to a lady named Valerie.

Valerie is the life of the party. Everyone wants her at their social functions, not just because she’s a fun person, but because she’s able to carry on a conversation with anyone. She fills any awkward silence with a natural ease. All those around her appreciate and marvel at Val’s ability.

“Val’s ability” = volubility (vol-yuh-BIL-uh-ti), meaning fluency or characterized by a continuous flow of words. It’s the gift of the gab, a natural dexterity with speaking. It’s a positive trait that could easily turn into a negative one, morphing into a chatty talkativeness that overwhelms and drains other people. But when it’s used well, it becomes a powerful tool and whoever wields this tool is an asset to any gathering of people.

Words can be magical. Conversations have the power to create connections between strangers, illuminate shared experiences, or simply offer the good medicine of laughter. Some people have a special ability to pour words forth like water. Those words can be a flood that drowns everyone. Or they can be a refreshing river, wrapping around people and inviting them to join in.

What makes the difference is the focus of the speaker—on herself or the people around her, whether she’s releasing words just because she wants to, focusing solely on her own needs, or is shaping and directing her words to meet the needs of those around her. That focus, on oneself or on others, can make all the difference in the world. A simple shift in focus has the power to change everything.

Word Nerd Wednesday: The Art of the Fix

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! This month’s word story is about a lovely person named Sylvia.

Sylvia, Siv to her friends, is an easy-going woman, friendly and enjoyable to be around. She’s at a party with her friends when she sees a lady whose dress tag is flipped out, sticking out along the back of her neckline. Casually strolling over to her, Siv introduces herself and offers the lady a hug. She quietly tells her the tag is sticking out and tucks it back in for her before releasing the other woman from the hug.

Two of Siv’s friends watch the exchange, smiling at her considerate, discreet style. “So un-obvious,” says one of them. “So true to Siv.”

“Un-obvious, true to Siv” = unobtrusive (un-ub-TRU-siv), meaning inconspicuous or discreet. By quietly and covertly fixing the problem, Siv behaves unobtrusively, sparing the other woman embarrassment.

It’s a wonderful thing when one person helps another without calling attention to the problem. It’s especially beautiful to see two women helping each other in a world that loves pitting one woman against another and obsessing over any fashion misstep.

Siv doesn’t have to help the other woman in our story. After all, she doesn’t even know her. But when she sees another woman in need of help, she acts—artfully, discreetly, in a way that uplifts the other woman instead of pushing her down.

She’s a rare jewel, that Siv, and even though she’s fictional, she inspires me—to be bolder, to step up when I see a need, and most of all, to be ready to act as the discreet, problem-solving friend every person needs at some point in their lives.