Today, I would like to REPRISE a topic I have written about before: the dumbing down of America by those who write for an online audience. Such content creators are encouraged to write at a level that is easily understood by teenagers. Specifically, they are instructed to employ short words with three syllables or fewer. Writers are told that if we are working toward the OPTIMIZATION of our online stories, this word choice strategy will bring us close to perfection.
Since my beloved father taught me never to talk down to others, to use my best vocabulary instead, this writing tip drives me insane, and sends me running to Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day to learn new words daily, most of them polysyllabic.
What follows is my attempt to use all of the January 2021 words. I would be in JEOPARDY if I forced myself to use them in the order that they were given. So let this stand as an APOLOGIA for my actions as I offer them up in a willy-nilly fashion.
A couple of caveats before we start:
- Since I am a blogger who writes slice-or-life stories, I will never write about treating crude rubber with chemicals to give it useful properties, and therefore, I am going to skip over the word VULCANIZE.
- And since the stuff I write is rated PG, and the only thing I can think of in regard to the sense of touch is the Magic Fingers Bed I experienced in that motel on my honeymoon, I will likewise skip over the word HAPTIC.
But let’s get serious here! A good vocabulary is important. For those in the workforce, a study by the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation/Human Engineering Laboratory has shown that a person’s vocabulary level is the best single predictor of occupational success. If you want to move from a SERVILE position to one that is PREEMINENT, no DEVIOUS action is needed. You don’t have to line the pocket of a supervisor with BAKSHEESH, nor do you need to perform OBEISANCE or kowtow to anyone; you just have to get cracking on your word proficiency.
And here’s some good news: Unlike mechanical and mathematical skills that are innate, vocabulary skills can be learned. I state this in a CATEGORICAL fashion with no ambiguity at all! Indeed, I feel it is my responsibility to explain this capability clearly, and won’t be FECKLESS in this regard.
Beyond business success, using an expanded vocabulary in the presence of your kids and grandkids will help them with their SAT scores. So on the rare occasion that they show up wearing something other than gym clothes, tell them how COMELY they look! When they are playing beautifully with their siblings and cousins, tell them you love to see such RAPPORT. Likewise, when they are behaving in an uncontrolled manner in the house, remind them not to run AMOK. And of course, should they resort to PUGILISM, remind them that the gym is the best place for boxing.
INSOUCIANCE in this regard is never my intention. Like my father before me, I am concerned about giving my kids and grandkids a vocabulary for success.
To my readers: I hope my NOSTRUM for presenting these words seems like a creative and not PEDANTIC scheme, and that it will receive EFFUSIVE praise. But if an enthusiastic response is not possible, my fingers will be crossed for a MODICUM of positive feedback. And barring that, I’ll pray that no reader will DISSOCIATE him/herself from my future stories! That would be a stiff punishment to EXACT for my attempt here at humor.
As I ponder what others will think of my story, this is a great time to talk about the term, AD HOMINEM. It means to attack someone’s character as opposed to the position the person takes. So I beg readers, if you do not agree that there are many reasons to build your vocabulary, that’s fine. Hate the story if you must, but don’t hate me.
Of course it’s just CONJECTURE, but I’m thinking my readers are not going to count the number of words in all caps and bold print. I’m guessing they will believe there are thirty-one just like the number of days in January. Certainly, no one will go to the Word of the Day website to double check the list. That being the case, no one will write to me nastily about MIMESIS, ITINERANT, RETROCEDE, or SARCOPHAGUS. At least that’s what I’m thinking.
That said, I hope you enjoyed playing with words today. If you did, and if you now have an excessive appetite for new words, a visit to the Merriam-Webster website will help with that type of GULOSITY.
This is a great word with which to end this story. I had never heard of it and neither had Microsoft Word’s dictionary. My computer and I are both enriched. I hope you are too.
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Stefan Eckert says
Excellent job at using all 31words. Fun read!
Lorie Kleiner Eckert says
Thanks for reading and commenting!! A certain son of mine proof read it for punctuation and usage…
I feel smarter after reading this 😉 thanks for all the new words!
Lorie Kleiner Eckert says
My friend Lucy tells me that in elementary school our teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, had us use all the weekly vocabulary words in a creative writing piece. I didn’t remember that and indeed thought I had dreamed up this fun activity!!