Signs of Love
Among the many parts of Holy Scripture that merit closer regard respecting grammar, I would include St. John’s simple admonition, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
In John’s combination “word and tongue,” we readily recognize what grammarians call a hendiadys, which means that John conveys a single idea by a double expression. That is to say, in John’s “in word or in tongue,” there is no real difference between “word” and “tongue”; both are metaphors for speech. John means simply, “Let not our love be just a lot of talk.”
Now respecting “word and tongue, . . .