Adjectives and Nouns and Verbs, Oh My!

A few weeks ago, I subbed in a third-grade classroom teaching language arts.  I was in “teaching heaven” because that’s my favorite thing to teach in school. Vocabulary, reading comprehension, grammar, and parts of speech – they’re all subjects that make me smile!

Words. I love reading them. I love writing them.  I’m a bookworm. I’m a note-taker. And I’m a some-time journal keeper.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved stringing words together to tell a story or document an event.

Written words stick for me much more than just spoken words. If you want to make certain that things don’t go in one of my ears and out the other, then never tell me something important (flight times, appointment times, directions to a specific address); write it down too.

(Not) At a Loss For Words

I can’t pinpoint where this love of words came from, but I suspect part of it’s from the hours and hours I’ve spent reading since I was a child. Open a book, and voila, you’ve got words! Words come alive on a page. Words tell a story. And sometimes, when I’m writing a blog, words tell my story.

I’ve never actually taken a formal writing class (this is an empty-nester bucket list item for me, though). I’ll probably never be a great writer. Heck, I may not even be an okay writer; I’m positive you’ll find a mistake or two (or seven or eight!) in this blog. I’ll keep writing all the same because typing words on a page makes me happy.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know that I’m not a black and white or a numbers gal. I see things in vibrant colors as if there’s a giant connect-the-dots between what’s happening around me and how that happening can become a life lesson. Hang with me because this is where my “seeing the world in color” turns the topic of words into a life lesson blog. Ready? Here goes…

Humans and language arts go hand in hand — specifically adjectives, nouns, and verbs. We can be each one of them at the same time.

Let me explain…


A (common) noun refers to a person, place, or thing. No mic drop here – you and I are nouns since we fall under “person.”

You may refer to yourself as:

  • A parent
  • A doctor
  • A runner
  • A reader
  • A student

All of these may be true; however, “nouns” have a knack for labeling each other unfairly, and we may say things like:

  • He/she’s a liberal/conservative.
  • They’re Christian/Buddhist/Jewish
  • He/she’s a snob.
  • He/she’s gay/straight/a lesbian.
  • He/she’s a loser.

Sometimes labeling people infers that they are wrong and the way you are is right. The fact of the matter is that no one is better than the next person. You and I have uniquely created “nouns.”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)


A verb is an action word.

It would be great if we “verbed” a little more and identified ourselves in ways like this:

  • I forgive others.
  • I love the unlovable.
  • I vote for my values and beliefs.
  • I recognize the overlooked.
  • I see the best in people.
  • I defend the unjustly accused.
  • I stand up for the bullied.

Actions speak louder than words. What we do has a stronger impact on people than what we say. We all know people who say one thing and do another. The world is full of them.

  • Those who say they forgive but still hold a grudge.
  • Those who say they love all people, but they love those who are just like them.
  • Those that speak kind words to the crowd but use hurtful words behind others’ backs.

I don’t want to be like them. I want to be a “verb” whose actions make a positive impact on people. What kind of “verb” do you want to be?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NIV)


An adjective is a describing word.

It would be great if we all “adjectived” a little more too.

  • Her smiling face brightens the room.
  • She’s a selfless woman who puts others’ needs before her own.
  • She’s a forgiving person.
  • She’s an optimistic woman.
  • She’s an accepting person because she includes others.
  • Her loving hugs make others feel special.
  • She’s a respectful employee.

When people think of me, I want the way I live my life to be a “billboard” for admirable things. I want people to be glad they know me and that I bring value to their life simply by being in them. I want to “adjective” a little more and be a walking-talking description of things that are good and worthy.  How about you?

In everything, set them an example by doing what is good. Titus 2:7a (NIV)

I’m a noun, a verb, and an adjective all rolled up into one. So are you. No one is perfect (we’re all perfectly imperfect and perpetual works-in-progress). We’re not going to get things right all the time. We’re going to be nouns, verbs, and adjectives that aren’t so esteem worthy from time to time. We’ll probably be a bitch/an ass (noun) every now and then. Sometimes we’ll ignore (verb) unjust things happening around us, and we’ll probably be unlovable (adjective) on occasion.

As a woman of faith, I’m grateful that we have Someone who is an expert grammar and spellchecker. He’s prone to give numerous do-overs, and He lovingly helps us edit our mistakes. He’ll do the same for you, too, if you ask Him. Here’s a quote to think about. It’s one of my favorites: “Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a second chance… It’s called tomorrow.” Nicholas Sparks 

Before I go, I’d love to know what your favorite school subject was. How do you see yourself currently using that subject in your life? Me? I turned my love of language arts into blogging, and I use my website to promote some of my favorite books.  I’d love to get to know you a little better. Drop me a line and let me know your answers.


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