March 09, 2014
Controversial Subjects - Shirley S. Tye
One of the points mentioned in the suggested links about tackling contentious topics is advice about getting personal. That would mean not expressing one’s personal point of view on a matter and I would add to that by saying, (yes, there’s my personal opinion) be careful how the word ‘you’ is used. There’s an example in that last sentence. I could have said “… not expressing your personal point of view…be careful how you use the word ‘you’.” The second sentence is pointed – at you; whereas the first sentence is not pointed, it comes across softer, in a general way which hopefully is less likely to produce the feeling of finger pointing.
Another excellent piece of advice from those links is about using resources to support the writing. Resources would certainly provide backup for the writer’s statements and opinions providing the resources are reliable. It is important to verify the source. (Notice I didn’t say “It is important to verify your source.”)
There are many Bible verses about the use of words. One which comes to mind is Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (KJV). It reminds me to keep a guard on my mouth so that whatever I say or write will come out strong, truthfully, and with love no matter what the topic. Basically, rather than allowing words to spill out carelessly, at all times I need to consider my words before speaking or writing. I applaud those writers who have the talent to write about controversial topics with grace and knowledge.