Wednesday, April 15, 2009

True to Words

I feel like I should explain why I chose the name of this blog. Believe it or not, I've had a few search term hits from people trying to find the meaning of the phrase "true to one's word." As the basis for this blog's name, I'm almost ashamed I didn't create this post earlier.

To be true to one's word is to keep a promise or follow through with one's intentions. An example sentence could be "True to her word, Samantha arrived just in time to meet her friend at the library." Or "True to her word, Sara finished her client's project with time to spare." (shameless plug)

There are a few related phrases of this ilk: True to form, true to type, true to principle, true to oneself. They all describe the same concept of commitment to something.

With that being said, when deciding what I would name this blog, I wanted it to be descriptive of both it's intended purpose and my personality. True to Words is perfect for a few reasons. First, it describes my commitment to communication and the written word. Second, True to Words: A blog about language and writing is a promise to readers of what to expect: The exploration of the meaning of words and their use in language. Third, it is in itself a linguistic curiosity and an example of what I like to talk about here because it is an idiom.

An idiom is an expression that means something other than the literal definition of its words. If you hadn't already heard the phrase "I smell a rat" or "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," you would probably be confused (unless of course a rat or gift horse were present). Because of this, idioms tend to be unique to the culture in which they are spawned. Idioms are often "lost in translation" literally because they do not translate to mean the same thing in another language.

I couldn't find many other blogs that talk about idioms, though I did find some translation blogs that mentioned their difficulty. I could barely find any information on gaffes in marketing that were caused by translation problems, even though they happen all the time when campaigns cross boarders. It looks like a have an idea for a new series of posts to do! Stay tuned to this blog to read how major-league campaigns turned into major pains.


  1. You are true to your word. Great Post. Enjoyed the read.

  2. My favorite ad campaign-gone-wrong is this one:

    It's just payback for the Chevy No-va.

    Glad to find your blog finally! I also promise to be true to my words as long as they remain true to me. Right?

  3. Thanks for the compliments! :) I hope y'all come back to visit more often!

  4. I found your blog via Twitter.

    I love the concise way you spell out what you are saying. There is much truth to what you said in this piece.