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Pastor’s viewpoint: Sept. 12, 2015

Have you ever used a “hingle?” From the Old English “hengle,” meaning hinge, it’s a snare used to catch rabbits.
Have you ever read any “latrinalia?” If you think it’s related to “latrine,” you’re close. From the Latin, “alia” refers to a trivial collection. If you put them together, you’ll get the graffiti often found on restroom walls … and on the walls of the World War II tunnels in the White Cliffs of Dover … and preserved in the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The graffiti is old, but the word was coined by Alan Dundes in a 1966 paper titled “Here I Sit – A Study of American Latrinalia.”
Finally, I might be the second person in 200 years to use the word “adimpleate.” Jan Karon was the first in her book Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good. It means “to fill up” or “to complete;” Mary Ella “adimpleates” me. (www.worldwidewords.org)
“3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:1-12)
Words are, like most things, relatively benign; they’re simply there, waiting for someone to use them … for good or evil. They can be used to encourage a friend or cut an enemy to ribbons. One of the silliest lies I remember was, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
I can’t remember a time when anyone attacked me with sticks or stones; but I’ve often been hurt by the unkind words of a thoughtless person. And I can only hope that I’ve not hurt anyone with my own words, although I know I probably have. If so and you’re reading this, I am sorry and can only ask your forgiveness.

“Buddy” Whatley (cbwhatley@hotmail.com); Woodland & Bold Springs UMC pastor, marketplace chaplain, and missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.