Verbal Sprawl

The more the words,
the less the meaning,
and how does that profit anyone?

–Ecclesiastes 6:11

How ironic that those words were spoken by someone named The Preacher.

We’re preparing to enter a season of senior sermons, baccalaureate services, keynote speeches and prayerful send offs. May all who dare to speak do so with modesty, a sense of the occasion, and a modicum of “fitly spoken” words.

Just say “no” to verbal sprawl.

  1. Mike the Eyeguy

    Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York, compared the role of a commencement speaker to that of a corpse at an Irish wake. Both bodies need to be there in order to have a celebration, but no one expects either to say very much.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    The longest commencement speech on record was given at Harvard College in the early 19th century. It lasted more than six hours and was delivered first in Latin and then repeated in Greek.

  3. Mike the Eyeguy

    The shortest commencement speech on record was delivered by the late Nels Smith, former governor of Wyoming.

    When it came to his turn to speak, Smith rose from his chair, approached the podium, surveyed the rows and rows of gowned graduating students and said slowly:

    “You done real good.”

    Then he turned and went back to his seat.

  4. Brady

    Good comments. I’m moving to Wyoming!

    The shortest sermon? Repent. The Kingdom’s at hand.

    Do you think that John sat down after that?

  5. Mike the Eyeguy

    Any sermon that’s “200 words or less” is a good one in my book.

  6. Scott

    During my years in youth ministry I went to way too many graduations. (That seems to have been replaced, at this stage in my life, with way too many birthday parties). During that time I worked out a theory that the smaller the graduating class the longer the graduation.
    Private school graduations with a small class are the closest we have come to hell on earth.

  7. Mike the Eyeguy

    I’ve noticed that too.

    Number One will graduate next week from one of the largest public high schools in Alabama. Graduation is a giddy up and move ’em out affair with each graduate given an average of 6 seconds of glorious recognition.

    In two years, Number Two will graduate from a smaller Christian H.S. with an average class size of 25-30. Although I haven’t attended one of their commencements, I hear tell that they’re tedious, overwrought affairs where each family is allowed to fete their special grad with long speeches, slide shows and PowerPoint multimedia presentations and that they can last into the wee hours of the night.

    I can’t wait.

  8. greg

    This weekend we’ll be traveling to Nashville, TN, for my nephew’s graduation on Saturday, and immediately return here to LR for another of my nephew’s graduation here on Sunday afternoon.

    Obviously, I can’t wait…

  9. Mike the Eyeguy

    Those must be some special nephews.

  10. Jason Bybee

    15 minutes this Sunday (supposedly). That’ll do, right?

  11. Mike the Eyeguy


  12. Carolinagirl

    Speeches come and go, but words of the wise stay with us forever. I’ve sat in on numerous banquet speeches over the past 3-years at my present duty station. The worse are always remembered as well as the words of the wise.

    Happy spring speeches. :0)

  13. Mike the Eyeguy

    I will listen for the good in all I hear, I promise.

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