"When a word goes into universe it doesn't go away. It reverberates around the universe forever." So said speaker coach Jeff Ansell, at the World Conference of the Professional Speechwriters Association.
Or as my old man used to say, "You can say what you want with a slide trombone, but with words, you've got to be careful."
My daughter Scout received a related lesson from her teacher Mr. Johnson, about bullying. He told her class that he had been bullied as a child, been called names. Then he held up a piece of paper, and crumpled it up. Then he uncrumpled it. He said the names he had been called are like the lines in the uncrumpled paper.
"They never go away," he said.
"Dad, isn't that brilliant?" Scout said that evening. "There's no better way of explaining about bullies than that!"
I'm not positive words stay in the universe forever. But I'll be damned if I can figure out how they would get out. So we should probably behave as if they do.