Last week I posted on the subject of vocabulary and the apparent conundrum I happened to be caught up in at work. I wanted to re-visit this because I have seen a variety of responses to this post causing me to perhaps, make some clarifying assertions.
1. Regardless of where we are in our journey of expanding our vocabulary, at no time should we use language purposefully to demean, denigrate or in any way belittle someone.
2. I believe in drawing others up and also being drawn up myself, that is to say that I want to continue learning both as an exercise in growth and as a means of edification. Drawing others up is perhaps a bit more sublime. There is a balance between using language to encourage a greater depth and understanding, and simply being a show-off. As one of the comment’s alluded to sometimes others will feel as if someone is being show-offy rather than simply trying to make a point with the vocabulary they are comfortable with.
3. Speaking to your audience: If you are talking to children, a conscious effort should obviously be made to speak in such a way, that they can understand you, but allow me this caveat, this is also an opportunity for children to grow their own vocabulary, so using some words that may be at the edge of their comprehension isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Again it is an area of balance.
All this to say that I believe it is important to utilize and expand the words we use. One area in particular that I find this extremely important is in meanings, today so many times we slip into slang or carelessly utilize words and in the process skew or even obliterate their meanings altogether. Words like love, cool, awesome have been marginalized in my opinion, to a point where writing has become more difficult. This is a topic perhaps for another post.
All this to say I like using more complex words at times… no disrespect intended.