Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've had several recent conversations about words.  A email list I participate in was discussing words.  The list is partially made up of authors and a couple of them were discussing the use of "old time words." The list also includes several teachers, and they were talking about how the youth of today has no idea what some words mean, and how "honors" or "AP" classes no longer mean much, and whether or not they do or should filter the words they use.  Several of the teachers said they sprinkle in large words in an attempt to broaden their students exposure to words.

I like words.  I've always thought I have (or had) a pretty large vocabulary.  I still think I do, but I now find I sometimes have more difficulty locating the word I am thinking of.  I know what the word is, I can almost see it, but it just slips through my fingers.  So Frustrating!! why can't I think of what I'm trying to say anymore?

Some of the words that were discussed in the various conversations - curmudgeon, mulling, plushies (or stuffies - meaning stuffed animals), umbrage, individualistic, refute, sensationalistic, and the list goes on.  I like words....

If today's society, (and it isn't just today's youth) is not using words, is it because they are too busy texting, and using text-speak shorthand instead of real words? Is it because no one reads anymore? Or has a real conversation? That is sad.


Muffie said...

Stacy, I love words, too!! What was the website to which you referred? I'd like to check it out.

Doug B said...

As a voracious reader I've picked up a lot of good words along the way. But most of the people I deal with on a daily basis don't have large vocabularies, so I haven't occasion to use them. I opt to be understood without having to explain what the words I'm using mean.

MS Day Dreamer said...

@ Muffie
Ok... the email group that started all this thought about great words is a yahoo group called Lesfic Unbound. It is for anyone that likes to read lesbian fiction.

As for what the discussion was about, a copy editor posted a link to http://www.subversivecopyeditor.com/blog/2011/02/still-learningfun-language-words.html
which was talking about words. There was also a discussion about the word curmudgeon and couple other words.
Another website that had me thinking about words was a blog post - http://dj-astellarlife.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-new-pony-can-soothe-soul.html
or rather the comments. Not so much about words but that's were the softies and plushies came in.

I have always loved words, and books.

MS Day Dreamer said...

@ Doug - I have always be a voracious reader too. I feel like I have a large vocabulary as a result. My parents - mom loves to read and loves cross word puzzles so she has always loved words and uses all sorts of words in conversation. Dad was a college professor and also had a very good command of language. So growing up I heard a lot of words.
Some of my friends do not have the extensive vocabulary but I normally don't have any problem communicating with them.
I just find that I frustrate myself because sometimes I want to use that perfect word and it is on the tip of my tongue but I think MS fog hid it from me. I didn't use to have that problem. And sometimes it isn't even a large or difficult word. It could be a name, or anything. Especially if I am at all tired.

Diane J Standiford said...

People think I am smart because I use "big words." Like Doug, the older I get the less I use them, or people either miss my point or cop a tude. See those big words!?) I love words and their origins and my partner is so SEXY when she uses words I've never heard! I also want to stay abreast of the current generation and find what they are doing to language, well, fascinating. Sup? tee hee
I live with a verbal foot in many worlds, my blog, Face Book, Twitter, my non-fiction mass audience WIP work in progress, the seniors at my home, the teens I know---I enjoy the ride. I think each generation changes language, at least in the USA. Thou, ye, whilst, you dig? You feel me? I used to think reading was dead, until I saw all those kids devouring Harry Potter. And Amazon.com---books, books, books!

MS Day Dreamer said...

@ Diane - there is something about a woman that has a large vocabulary (and knows how to use it) that is very SEXY. So I dig...
I get to keep up with some of the younger generation via my daughter, and some of the people I work with.
And I guess you're right regarding Harry Potter, it did reach a very wide audience. So kids do read.
But, text speech is a whole different way of communicating. Much like comparing shakespeare (whilst thou?) to normal speech.

Jade said...

So I just finished up my last term of classes.... one class I took was a Children's Literature class... We discussed the Harry Potter effect several times... And basically J.K. Rowling renewed interest in kids reading... Book sales of all children and young adult books sky-rocketed after Harry Potter came out...

I think it is just sad... I loved reading for as long as I can remember, and now-a-days kids mostly just want to play video games... or watch tv... makes me sad... they are all missing out on the wonders of the imagination that comes with reading...