I got comments twice the other day about using “big words”, and I’ve had this happen many times throughout my life. I don’t think I use big words, but apparently my vocabulary is cause for comment. The aforementioned comments were a result of my use of the word “tangential” and “conundrum”. I was asked to spell “conundrum” and give a definition. This prompted me to say that I’d come back with more words, and we could have a word of the day! I think today’s word will be “proclivity”, and tomorrow’s word will be “mitigate”. Again, I don’t think either of these are big words, but I could be wrong.
Did you have $10 words in elementary school? Because I did. My teacher liked to explain that words have value, and if you use bigger words or more specific words, you add more value to your writing. Thus, “everyday” words were only worth $1, words from our vocabulary list were worth $5, and any fancy words we found on our own were usually worth $10. We didn’t actually get any money, but she frequently referred to our assignment requirements with phrases like, “Use at least one $10 word and one $5 word.” Granted, we were in second grade, so even $10 words weren’t THAT interesting. I still talk about $10 words, and I always get funny looks when I mention it.
If nothing else, $10 words give your writing a little flavor, spicing up the everyday blog post just a little. The only caveat (should “caveat” be a word of the day?) is making sure you’re understood, and using fancy words sometimes detracts from the meaning (think jargon-laden technical writing or legal writing.) So, readers, any ideas for a word of the day?