How You Say It Makes All The Difference

how you say it makes all the difference“I’m as busy as a one eyed cat watching five mouse holes.” “That’s as useless as a porcupine in a balloon store.”

Folksy word picture comparisons have always intrigued me. They may sound a little hick-like at times, but they sure stick in your mind.

How you say something makes all the difference.  It helps connect an audience when you speak, it helps build a bridge in one on one conversation and it’s just plain fun.

To be honest, I’m as scared as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs when I think about writing this post.  I’m not sure if I’m qualified. At times I have used these kinds of phrases – but not as much as some people I know.

I asked a guy at church how he was doing and he responded with: “I’m finer than frog’s hair.”  Then he follow up with, “If I was any better, I’d be twins!”

I was outside working with a guy once who said, “I’m sweating like a Christian Scientist with an appendicitis.”

It’s often difficult for me to pull these kind of phrases out at the right times.  Either I can’t remember them or I’m concerned it will come off strangely.  I always like to hear other people say them, but I get about as nervous as a light bulb in a BB gun factory when I try to insert folksy quips.

I’ve always known word pictures are much better than just straight statements.  The best communicators know this and use it wisely.  They will say the same thing three different ways, each time becoming increasingly funnier as well as driving the point home.  They tell stories, they use comparison, they keep their presentation lively.

I realize many of folksy comparisons are crass and I wouldn’t want to use  them in everyday conversation, especially around my kids. They are about as low as a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.  The bad ones are about as useless as a fork at a soup convention. They’re worse than a two story outhouse.

But the good ones are addictive. They’re slick as snot on a greased doorknob.  They pack a punch.  They have power to bring humor to any situation.  In fact, I’m going to keep looking for these as fast as an alligator passes through a handbag factory. I want to learn some and use them – when the need arises.  It may take me a while to get there, but even if I’m slow enough to herd turtles, I think I’ll eventually work these things into some conversations.  I’ll also be sure to use them when I’m speaking in front of people. I don’t want over do it, but in public speaking, how you say it is almost as important to what you are actually saying. If you can’t keep their attention, your audience will be as distracted as a dog in a fire hydrant store.

I wouldn’t want to use these kinds statements to make fun of people. For example, talking about people being so skinny that when they drink tomato juice they look like a thermometer and phrases of that nature aren’t very becoming.  Those kinds of statements are no better than two buggies in a one horse town.  They’re as useless as an outhouse on a submarine.

We may live around people who say use the same folksy comparison every day – over and over.  This can be as painful as sore feet on a centipede.  In order to stay fresh and try to keep these phrases humorous,  i’m about as busy as a termite with a tapeworm trying to compile a series of these phrases in my mind so I can pull them out at the right time.

I want my words to give God Glory!  And I also believe people who share God’s word should take great pains to help the message connect.  It’s life changing.  And it’s worth the effort.

I don’t think I can recall an Scripture where Jesus said these kinds of folksy comparison statements.  But, Jesus did make his teaching memorable. When you look at the Bible, he was always making up stories to drive something home…  “There was a man walking down the road”  “A father had two sons” or “A man found a treasure in a field and then…”  Jesus was a master communicator as he was communicating the best message every told.

How you say something is important.

Thanks for reading!  I’m as happy as a flea on a hound that you took time to read this fun post.  What phrases like this have you heard or used?


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