Many of you who read this may think I am just a terrible writer. I have horrendous grammar, I know. Some of the things I write sound awkward, I know.
I apologize for my often less than eloquent blog posts! But I’ll say this, when I write, I try to write how I talk. Okay maybe I write less words like “um” and other placeholders, but I try to sound real when I write and when I speak. You’ll notice “SAT” words, and other huge words don’t come up in my blog very often, again, that goes back to writing how I speak.
Big words are impressive, they sometimes say things that simpler words can’t, they help make sense of newspapers, studies, or any other intellectual thing, I am not disputing the usefulness of large words for this stuff, they are often very valuable. But I think that school, tests (SAT etc.), and of course our attitudes, put too much emphasis on “sounding smart”. I believe when communicating, big words aren’t always effective.
For instance, many times during class discussions, someone use a huge word that sounds impressive and smart and eloquent and all of the like. But in my head all I am thinking is “What does that mean?”. Maybe my not understanding just means my vocabulary needs to expand, which is definitely true, but I don’t think that regular conversation really calls for such huge words. In addition to sometimes causing confusion for the less eloquent people like me, I think that using these types of words sound unreal and as if the person is trying to force these words.
Lets be honest, when you or I are talking to our friends, we aren’t going to be using crazy words. We talk like we are real when we are with our friends. Realness, I think, is better for communication.
While I am ranting, I’ll say that I think a symptom of this is using too many adjectives to describe a person or describe anything. I don’t need to hear that someone is “comical, amiable, compassionate, caring, and optimistic”. I think too many of these adjectives take away from the person they are describing. Maybe I would describe this person by saying, “his/her humor makes me smile, he/she cares so much for their friends that he/she is willing to listen to every word they say and he/she always offesr a positive comment”. I think that is a much more effective way of describing someone.
I think improving one’s vocabulary is a good thing. But at the same time I think its important people remember the value of being real, and of sincere praise. Sounding smart is all good, I get it, and hey, sometimes I do it too, but don’t let sounding smart come at the expense of sounding sincere and expressing your true thoughts. Expressing your ideas fully and effectively is more important than using merely using big words to sum things up.