They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, a word is worth a thousand pictures.
Think of the power that one word carries. The jurors return to their seats after hours of deliberation. Every face in the courtroom turns expectantly toward the head juror as she relays the verdict: Guilty. The boyfriend whose heart has stopped beating, whose eyes have stopped blinking, and whose world has stopped turning, awaits her response to his proposal. Angels seem to carry the word to his ears: Yes. One word can also carry the power of frustration. Remember when you were a student? You poured your blood, sweat, and tears into that all-important paper, speech, or project. In your mind, your GPA, your graduation, your future job, spouse, kids, dog, neighbors--your entire life--rested on your professor's evaluation. You swallow hard as you stare at him, a drop of drool forming on the lower lip of your gaping mouth. You don't care. You can clean it up later. After what seemed like a millennium, he finally spoke. "Interesting." The drool drops as your lips curl into a horrified internal What??? What does that even mean?
Which brings me to my point. I must admit that whenever I hear someone say, "It's just semantics," a drop of drool is flung from my lips that have curled into the hideous shape of nauseous indignation. Just semantics? Does society even know what semantics is? I fume inwardly. Semantics is a fancy word for meaning. The importance of semantics is proclaimed from the rooftops by your frustration with your professor's response of "Interesting." Likely no single word carries such a multitude of conflicting meanings as the word "interesting," which is conclusive evidence that semantics is far from inconsequential minutiae.
Is a picture worth a thousand words or a word worth a thousand pictures? A drop of drool is forming as I await your opinion ...