I am by no means exceptional when it comes to either vocabulary or pronunciation. I can, however, spend a week or more mulling over a single word. One of my favorites is the word, “too.” It is such a good reminder of the importance of balance. Am I doing too much? Too little? Too often? Too seldom? Ironically, our greatest strengths can also be a major weakness. We may take a good thing and use it too much.
Our personality and social style plays a role. The shy person may offer knowledge or skill too seldom. A good idea may be lost on its audience if presented too persistently or, conversely, because it was slipped in too quietly.
Clients and students are sometimes confused when I tell them they need to do the opposite of what I suggested a day or two ago. It is a matter of balance. The other day they came on too strong. Today they backed off too much. What is needed also varies with audience, setting, and situation. If I am to be heard in this group I need to be assertive. The folks I was with yesterday would have found such forcefulness too much, even intimidating.
Because “too” is a favorite of mine, I go a little overboard when I read a student paper in which the wrong spelling is used. The spelling “to” seems to be most popular even when “two” or my pet, “too” is appropriate. I have to force myself not to be overly harsh in my response. When I write, I always wonder if this column is too long or too short.
At the moment I am trying to come up with a catchy ending in which I get to use all three versions of the word. How about this: I have been writing for over two minutes but less than two hours so I am going to sign off now before I get too silly.
Have a great day.