“The deadest words are the merely ‘poetic’ ones, words once alive but now embalmed long since. Some readers, seeing them only in poetry of the past and thinking of them as uncontaminated by daily handling, may believe them especially worthy of the poet’s attention. But devotion to such words or phrases…is a kind of necrophilia.” (John Frederick Nims, Western Wind, Random House (1974), 148)
“The norm for a poet’s language is the way his contemporaries talk.” T. S. Eliot
The following words ought to be prohibited in all church music because either (1) they are so overused that their effectiveness has been totally destroyed or (2) they are not used in any diction today except for hymnody.
Jehovah (this should be removed from everything, actually)
Many of these words are anti-words. They subvert the entire point of words. They have ceased to signify some meaning greater than themselves. Instead of thinking of an objective idea when we hear these words, we think “hymn words” when we hear these words, because they only appear in hymns. Correlation requires real-world corollaries and these words have none. And that, more than anything else, is why you are always bored and never think about what you’re singing when you sing hymns.