Every idle word (pan rhma argon). An ineffective, useless word (a privative and ergon). A word that does no good and so is pernicious like pernicious anaemia. It is a solemn thought. Jesus who knows our very thoughts ( Matthew 12:25 ) insists that our words reveal our thoughts and form a just basis for the interpretation of character ( Matthew 12:37 ). Here we have judgment by words as in Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus presents judgment by deeds. Both are real tests of actual character. Homer spoke of "winged words" (pteroenta epea). And by the radio our words can be heard all round the earth. Who knows where they stop?