Today’s Word of the Day is silver-tongued. Oh dictionary.com you make this too easy! To be silver-tongued means to speak persuasively; eloquently: a silver-tongued orator.
It’s origin according to dictionary.com:
Silver-tongued may be named for the pleasing resonance of a silver bell. Even more pleasing and eloquent, therefore, would be chrysostom or chrysostomos “golden-mouthed,” from Greek chrysόstomos, from chrysόs “gold” and stόma “mouth.” As an epithet, chrysostom is reserved for the ancient Greek philosopher and historian Dio (or Dion) Chrysostom (c40–c115 a.d.), but in particular for the Greek patriarch and Church Father John Chrysostom (c347–407). On the first page of Ulysses, the unreliable, malevolent narrator refers to Buck Mulligan, who has gold fillings in his teeth and a very bawdy wit, as chrysostomos. Silver-tongued entered English in the late 16th century.
The art of eloquent speech is in short supply these days. We communicate in so many ways that are anything but silver-tongued. We have short attention spans that beg to be titillated by tweets, 60 second sound bites, text speak, ads that must grab our attention in the first three seconds, slang and abbreviated grunts!
But thankfully, beautiful words are not completely gone. In fact, when we hear a silver-tongued speech we rush to listen, inspired. ‘President Oprah’ had a very nice ring to it this week, even if only for a few days.
Notice, I did not refer to our current prez. He is what might be described as a silver-tongued devil (someone who, through flattery and slick speech, seeks to deceive others for their own gain.) Thanks to “45” we had a sad reality check this week. He reminded us why a majority of us didn’t vote for him, while reinforcing for the umpteenth time that he really is a racist, misogynistic, nationalist who is in the White House for his own self-aggrandizement. And all this while dragging us through the cesspool of his depraved mind adding another nasty word to our list of ‘not presidential’ diatribes, derogatory remarks and name-calling! Ugh! We are so fucked. (I considered toning that last word down but I am afraid another nicer word just won’t cut it…nope, fucked is the only way to say it…😳) Did I mention I didn’t vote for this guy? I didn’t vote for this guy.
But I digress, and I am sorry for that. Digressing is the last thing any of us should be doing. We need to hold fast to our love of beautiful words. We need to think them and write them and speak them. We need to speak to each other, face to face with the kindness and dignity due every human being.
I believe in the power of words. I believe in their beautiful ability to transform, uplift and affirm. And I’m rooting for the silver-tongued angels among us to win this war of words.
So I’ll close with a Lune, which is a short Haiku with the form 5/3/5. Sometimes brevity is the way to go!
let us strive to be
angels not devils