In celebration of ‘wordaholics’.

This post is largely inspired by a post I read earlier today titled Confessions of a Wordaholic.

If u know me any, or have read my post on intentionality, you would have learnt that i love words, both small and big but mostly big (blush). I also love colloquialisms especially sms language and abbreviations. I cannot begin to describe the damage texting has done to my grammar, lol, so if you like words spelt out in full, please excuse my use of ‘lol’ and smileys.

What can i say but for me, words should create mental pictures. To my mind, discombobulate sounds better than confuse because it creates a visual of total chaos and ‘bombulation’*[1]. Befuddled is another beloved synonym for confuse, because i can just see the person stumbling about in a ‘fuddle’. Oscillate sounds way better than swing as i visualise the object going around in circles; and when i think of being besieged, I picture Jack Sparrow stuck at sea and surrounded by enemy pirates trying to steal his ship… Catch my drift?

I have always loved big words. Growing up, my dad make us read newspapers and books from when we could barely read; with instructions to write down words we didn’t recognise and or understand which we’d discuss subsequently. My love affair with the dictionary is chronicled in intentionality.

I remember an incident from when we were much younger, my sister and i went to the tailor and in describing my desired attire, i used the word ‘asymmetrical’. My sister did question me about this because before the recent advent of ‘fashion designers’, the typical Nigerian tailor had little or no education. So my sister asked how i thought he would understand the word, and i lied and told her it was more for her benefit (thank God for Jesus and redemption); but truth be told, i just used the word because i liked it and it expressed what i needed to say, without caring about my audience. My dad often chastised me on this issue with the words ‘the essence of communication is to communicate, so your audience must understand you’. Well he created this wordaholic monster so guess who’s to blame, lol, (if you ever read this, just kidding, love you dad.)

I love flowery words, this makes my profession(law) very fitting since it’s a profession steeped in tradition, ancient languages like Latin and lots of elegant, long, obfuscating words(oops,I did it again). I would fit right into the Shakespearean era, albeit in terms of words alone, no corsets please J. Incidentally, my favourite version of the bible is the King James Version, for the aforementioned reasons (I like that word too, blame it on law school and always citing one thing or the other). For instance ‘lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness’, sounds way better than ‘get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent’, even if you don’t know what it means, lol (that’s James 1:21,by the way)*[2]. I might be onto something though, as research shows that the KJV is the easiest version to memorize because it’s so poetic it practically ‘sings’.

Interestingly, one of my pet peeves is people using big words around me, not in general though, what particularly ticks me off are malapropisms which simply put is using  words (particularly big words in my case) wrongly. I feel like if you have to or like to use big words, the least one can do is look them up and use them in the right way; aarghh, lol.

Anyway, (one of my favourite non-big words, it serves as good introduction for a segue or change in subject).Thanks for taking the time to go on another rambling journey with me. Let us know in the comments section if you are a fellow ‘wordaholic’ or if you find the lot of us annoying and think we are just desperately trying to sound clever.:-)

Remember to do whatever u do for and to the glory of God, including being a wordaholic or not.

 Shalom fam J

 P.S

Feel free to share your favorite words and the reasons why in the comments section as well; and for my friends who kindly read my posts, please don’t text, facebook or bbm me with your comments. Please post them below for all to enjoy.


[1] No such word, I just made it up  J

[2] For this reason, I usually read lots of different bible versions / translations together, and advise people to do same. Seeing it phrased so differently often enriches the understanding of the text.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hajel
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 13:47:37

    Lol! I loved reading this! And being the sister who survived the barrage and continuous onslaught of big words, I can totally identify with this. I on the other hand, love simplicity in language, I think you must understand what you want to say properly, in order to say it simply (which by the way, you do- in other blogs that is!). Having said that I can often be heard saying “i don’t like the fact that he would not use simple words, I think he is grandiloquent and it doesn’t help that they are often malapropisms!” Lol, a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black!

    Reply

    • ramblinggoose
      Aug 03, 2011 @ 23:57:00

      Ha ha ha, it must run in the family; quite ironic though, your audience probably starts to wonder if you hear yourself use the ‘big’ words. I agree with the principle that communication should be simple; it’s the practise I have a problem with :-), I have heard of professional writing courses that train people to communicate in Basic English, we should probably sign up.

      Reply

  2. Adejoh Momoh
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 14:50:34

    Really nice… I am a ‘Wordaholic’ to the extent of old, Out-dated Shakespearean English, but I don’t really like big words. I believe communication should be very basic, easy and not necessarily provoke a relationship with the dictionary….

    Reply

    • ramblinggoose
      Aug 04, 2011 @ 00:00:49

      Lol, thanks for the comment, I love the phrase about provoking a relationship with the dictionary; true poet! What’s your favourite Shakespearean phrase? I have noticed his influence on your work.

      Reply

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