Think Before You Speak (Or Write)

On January 25th, my horoscope in The Globe and Mail read:

Be careful what you say today because if you are not careful in your choice of words someone could take it the wrong way and cause a scene. Better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing.

Think Before You Speak

This was a sign for me to finally publish this blog post: “Think before you speak (or write)” 

My mother is responsible for drilling that statement into my head. I can’t tell you how many times I heard it growing up. Nor can I tell you how many times I heard her voice in my head saying it before I said something that could have ended up with my butt in a sling.

I guess I must be one of the majority because today, words are flying willy nilly, verbally and in writing.

NYTimes offers discounts in mistaken email gaffe
Mark Wahlberg Apologizes for 9/11 Comments
Steve Williams Apologizes for Racist Comments Directed at Tiger Woods

And if folks aren’t trying to apologize, they feel the need for a clarification instead:

Brad Pitt Clarifies Jennifer Aniston comment
Cain seeks to ‘clarify” fence comments

You may feel the repercussions aren’t as critical as a celebrity or a politician. But what we say, either verbally or in writing, can affect how others view us. If you don’t care, you should start.

My caution is not to step on your toes, taper your comments, or invalidate your rights. It’s more of a caution to be aware and think first. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a pause before answering a question as long as the pause is not too long. One of my favorite responses to a question is “Hmm, let me give that some thought” or “let me give that some thought and get back to you.” I can’t tell you how many sticky situations I avoided using those lines.

You have to know that no matter how much you tell someone to think before they speak, some people just won’t listen. And we all know who the worst offenders are. With the Oscars looming and the US Presidential election gearing up, my advice is to strap in folks, it’s getting ready to get fun! Gaffes, blunders, opps, clarifications and “did I say that?” are going to be plentiful so put on your hip boots.

For those who can’t seem to learn the lesson and will forever be plagued by foot in mouth disease, there is a solution:

duct tape


  1. Reblogged this on Nichole's Motor Mouth and commented:

    In light of the latest comments “misspoke” this time by Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin, I thought would republish this post I wrote in January. Please feel free to share it with the political officials in your district.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.