Over the past few years I have noticed a trend among those, Christians in particular, who desire to be culturally relevant and that is the broad use of the word resonate. I cannot count the number of conversations I have had in which the person I am speaking with makes the comment, “That really resonates with me,” or some such derivative.
Initially, I was less bothered than intrigued by the use of the word. Having spent a few precious college credit hours taking Engineering Physics and the like, I have always associated the word resonate with harmonics related to music, electricity, and the frequencies necessary to produce sympathetic vibrations in different forms of matter. However, after the twentieth time hearing that an idea or concept “resonated” with someone, I began to be bothered.
Not that such use of the word is necessarily invalid – it’s akin to saying “that struck a chord with me,” – but I suddenly couldn’t escape people using it all the time. Resonance was everywhere! On blogs, in conversations, in sermons. Seemingly out of the blue, everything resonated with everyone – emotionally, philosophically, theologically – and the culturally hip way to express agreement with a trend or idea was to claim resonance.
Thus, my suggestion is that we leave resonance to the physicists and resume our verbal engagements without using the phrase, “that resonates with me.” Unless, of course, we happen to be talking about a loud concert or an earthquake.