“If only I had known what he would turn out to be,” said Henry Tandey, a British soldier of WWI, who had a chance to kill Adolph Hitler at the Battle of Marcoing.

According to Henry's account, he took aim but had a heart not to kill a wounded German soldier. “If I only had known what he would turn out to be. When I saw all the people, women and children he had killed and wounded, I was sorry to God to let him go.” [1]


 
 
We live in a world of words. Some people even make a living by weaving long and sometime quite elaborate strings of letters. Some of those strings worth more than strings of pearls.

The strings of words pierce the space on radio waves, fold into books, hide in CDS and microfiches and wave to us from banners pulled by crop dusters. They shake our air with acoustic booms of contraction and rarefaction. They carry meanings; at least some of them, while others are just pollution, toxic noise. Some words will stay with you for the rest of your life, like the first word of your baby. Or like the last words of your loved one. Words give life and words take life away.