James Boice and Germanic Vocabulary

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The rules from C.S. Lewis are both compelling and challenging.  It reminds of one of Dr. James Boice's maxims: speak from the Germanic and not the Latin side of the English vocabulary.  He meant that preachers should cultivate plain and direct speech.  The English language combines both Anglo-Saxon Germanic and Norman Latin, so that we pretty much have two streams from which to choose words.  Use the Germanic stream, Boice would say.  Instead of "terminated," say "stopped."  Instead of "ruminated", say "thought."  Instead of "originated," say "started" or "began."  Naturally, this is not an absolute rule, so that we never use a more elaborate word.  But it should be a preacher's desire to be plain and direct, and for this, the Germanic is normally best.  Under Jim's influence, some of the praise I most value is, "Pastor, you are a very clear and direct preacher."  If we want to be a voice among the people, we will follow such an approach.
Posted September 28, 2006 @ 11:40 AM by Rick Phillips
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