In one of my well taught classes, I cover the trap that mankind has laid out so wonderfully, that of language and more precisely, words. Words have many meanings now, especially in the English language, but at one time, many many years ago, this was not so. A word held a solid image in one's mind and was easily conveyed into the mind of others. We developed multiple uses and definitions of simple words as well as developed multiple words that held similar meanings. This should not have developed into a entrapping situation, right? But it has, and to add to this confusion, we decided about ten years ago, to become 'politically correct'. Which limited free form expression by removing certain words which held definite meanings to substitute other words that were similar in content yet defines objects differently in context.
Thus, in my studies of History (yes a long love of mine) I developed a study of words (etymology for you technical types) and discovered a lot about my own language (that being English) and just how far our words have evolved and have been redefined. In ritual and spell work, I teach my students the importance of vocabulary and how it affects our imagery, our vibrations, and our outcomes. There are three basic types of speech in spell work or in ritual, and each has its designated place and use.
First, and most common, is modern word; that native language of yours, which ever that may be. Modern tongue is what You know best, and understand easiest, and can convey many things and images to others most frequently. It has evolved though and has lost a bit of it's clarity at times, and in ritual and spell work, it is best not to let any inside your circle to become confused.
Second is the ancient tongue; the old languages of our ancestors handed down to provoke certain images and definite thought processes by a cultural or educated link into our vocabulary. Certain names. places or things can clearly be understood and not mistaken by using the ancient tongue, and the imagery pulls from our sub conscience and our history and shared imagination.
Third would be arcane speak; this would be the 'root' language(s) of our ancestors, simple vocabulary deep in imagery and definite definition of action, place, people and things. That which is arcane is of two houses. The first being well understood by any who hear it, the second being the utter confusion by the listener. So one must use this type carefully in group work, and be well educated in it even for personal work.
Next is the importance of vibration of sound, resonance of word. Being versed in the Bardic training and understanding the science of vibration and density, our words have to not only convey exacting imagery, but allow us to resonate that physically in our workings. I utilize much song-spell in my works, the act of song rhythmic verse and chants, while building energy and directing imagery. The notes, the words, the rhythm, all tie together to create a specific level of vibration in the physical, and can be felt by all involved.
Now why am I going through all this? Because our words are so important to us, in mundane life and our spiritual paths. The unspoken word is sometimes much more effective than what is said, and words cannot be inhaled back into the mouth of the speaker once spoken. And the written word, the drawing out of sounds to create a picture for the mind, is also ever more important today. (yes I come from a traditional 'verbal' or 'oral' tradition, Druidry) But what are we 'drawing' out for our generation in our writings? What have we taught our children, our students, or even shared with our mentors by our works?
Again I will mention the importance of Tradition, yet I do not want anyone to follow a 'tradition' that they do not understand nor can apply, or even adapt, for that would be useless to the reason of the tradition. But here, tradition plays the biggest part. Through or cultural and spiritual history, our traditions were given birth. Through our languages, sciences, and cultural interactions, our imagination and imagery was developed. A good example: EVERY CULTURE IN THE WORLD RECOGNIZES A SACRED TREE IN ITS SPIRITUAL HISTORY, every culture also recognizes what a Dragon is, AND, the most recognizable symbol on the planet today is.... the McDonald's Golden Arches!
It is our responsibility to not only be guarded of our words, but how we express our imagery to others by their use and definition. A good way to gauge what you say and how you speak, look to the books you read and the certain words you choose when describing things. Build your vocabulary in the mundane world by the same guidelines of your magical speaking and your spiritual language. This will help you when working with others in your spell work or in ritual.
With a world of words to choose from, and these little bits of information, I bet you will never see any conversation ever the same way....