Friday, July 17, 2009

Avoid homonyms

Rachel Aviv in this month's Harper's (subscription required):

Last summer, forty Christian missionaries, members of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, roamed the housing projects of Connecticut telling children the condensed and colorful story of Jesus’ life. The goal was salvation, but the missionaries rarely used that long word. They employed monosyllabic language and avoided abstract concepts and homonyms. “Holy” was a problem, the missionaries said, as children thought it meant “full of holes.” “Christ rose from the dead” was also tricky because children mistook the verb for a flower.

(Rachel has just been named a recipient of a Carter Center fellowship for mental health journalism.)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats