On Sunday I was speaking to a Frenchman in church about the complexities of linguistic acrobatics. I told him about the first sermon I ever preached, which was in French, and how I had puzzled the congregation with my exposition on the teeth (dents) as opposed to the gifts (dons) of the Holy Spirit.To think that one tiny tweak in the shape of my mouth could make such a difference! Language is a slippery thing, even when we are speaking our own. The pictures below, which currently sit on my Twitter profile, show quite how easy it is to get it wrong. I feel especially sorry for those whose mistake is tattooed permanently into their own flesh.
In just over one week my new book, Who Needs Words, is published. As well as offering an analysis of what happens when we communicate and advice on how to do it the book also addresses the question of why we should do it at all. When all is said and done this book is a plea to use our God-given ability to communicate, and to do it well.
To celebrate the launch of the book, I would love to hear about your own experiences (a bit like my disastrous French sermon) where your words have let you down. You can share them directly via the comments on this page, or using the #whoneedsworsd hashtag on Twitter. Saint Andrew Press will award a free copy of the book Who Needs Words to the entry which makes the Preachers’ Blog laugh the most. Entries close on October 6th