Ok, just so you know that I am not making things up, officially "wordsmithery" is an actual word. It is not however, in common useage. Which is a shame.
"The term wordsmith is an actual English language word that was created in late 1800s to describe a person who works with words and is especially a skillful writer. The only variation on wordsmith is wordsmithery; both of these words are nouns, not verbs."
That said, I believe, we should not only bring the word "wordsmithery" into our everyday language but we should strive to be wordsmiths. Let's face it, we have gotten lazy. I blame texting. And trust me, I do text. Not well, but I do it. Texting for most people (again not me) uses extreme and never before recognized abbreviations and symbols instead of words. We've sort of gone back to using pictographs like the ancient Egyptians. They do say that in fashion, everything eventually becomes stylish again.
Texting is an entirely different language and one in which I am not fluent. But then, I suppose I can be forgiven, considering my age. It seems that the older I get, the younger generations automatically assumes that I don't know what I'm doing (especially with regard to technology) and they are either amused by my clumsy attempts or they are irritated by my inability to quickly grasp some of these new concepts.
I admit that I was forcibly dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of computers and cell phones and so forth. But once I got there, once I accepted that this was the fate of, not just me, but everyone, I dug in and eventually sort of figured it out. Let's just say that I manage to get by.
I actually, begrudgingly, see tremendous value in using computers. I marvel at the technology of micro processing and all of the many gains it affords us. Not just in cell phones, which really are barely phones any more but pocket computers, but in medicine. If not for engineering and technical wizardry that created such ittybitty computers that exist now in hearing aides, my world would be largely silent.
But I also am bearing witness to diminished vocabularies and appalling spelling at the same time. And this time I am not referring to texting. Texting is what it is and the idea seems to be to convey your thoughts with as few keystrokes as possible. Ok it's good to have a goal. But this time I am speaking of the actual printed word.
Have you noticed how terrible editing is in print lately? Holy Cats! Magazines, newspapers and even (or perhaps especially) online news. The errors abound! I find myself loosing interest in the articles because I have serious doubts regarding the veracity of any so-called journalist who A) does such poor self-editing and B) has such poor command of the language! (and C Do these magazines, newspapers and online 'zines even employ editors anymore?)
I was shocked and sad when, many years ago, one of my boys turned in a paper they had written that the teacher gave a very high grade. When he flourished that paper at me with a big smile over that bright and shiny "A" grade, I was excited to read his assignment. And was dismayed to find many mistakes. Sometimes spelling, occasionally grammar or punctuation. The content was fine, it was the presentation that needed work. At least in my opinion. At the next parent/teacher conference I brought up my concerns and the teacher waved me off. "I knew what he meant", she said. What? What? What?
That was quite a few years ago and I see a continued downward spiral when it comes to wordsmithery. And it's sad. Mr. Webster took tremendous time and effort compiling a very large book filled with all the words of the English language. Why are we limiting ourselves to just a handful? And then using them poorly?
With just a tiny bit of effort, reading, writing and speaking can be so much more interesting, so much more beautiful, so much more colourful and CLEAR. Communication is absolutely essential for success. If we aren't communicating clearly, honestly, and often, there is no progress.
Wouldn't it be glorious to start a wordsmithery movement?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.