There’s an n word I avoid saying. It’s not the one Mark Twain penned in Huckleberry Finn. I don’t have to try to avoid that one. I do try to stop myself from hitting the people who say it.
This n word guarantees you’ll make a fool of yourself the minute you put your tongue on the roof of your mouth to form the n. It’s a weighty word that’s taken lightly and out of context. If you can talk, you’ve said this word. If you have a conscience, you’ve probably regretted it.
The word is never.
Today I hardly ever say never. As decades stacked up, my list of nevers I’d nevered grew longer. I made many of my I Will Never Promises when I was a kid. I will never smoke. I will never drink. I will never do drugs. I will never hit anybody.
Other I Will Never Promises were more serious. I nevered those too. I will never cheat on anybody. I will never drink and drive. I will never rob a bank. (I didn’t actually promise to never rob a bank.)
The misuse of never is limitless. You can apply it to someone else —you never pay attention to me. You never help with the laundry. If I catch you smoking again, you’ll never leave the house. The reason the last one never, I mean usually, doesn’t stick is parents get sick of having their moping teenagers in the house.
There is no use for never unless it’s a factual statement: Hu Jintao never had tea with the Tea Party in Beijing. Prior to his presidency, George W. Bush never traveled to Europe. Sarah Palin never saw Russia from Alaska.
I’m doing well with my oral and written excision of never...although I've developed a slight problem with always.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...