I love words. Big words, little words and foreign words that don’t have nearly enough vowels…they all make me happy. I’ve often said that for me words are brush strokes and no one appreciates an accomplished verbal painter like this bleach blonde vocabulary groupie.
I once married a man simply because he used the word pungent. Sadly I later divorced him because he mispronounced spaghetti.
The dictionary has roughly 300,000 words and over 600,000 word forms. That doesn’t even take into account the slang words and regional words we use in this country. Scholars say the actual number of English words cannot be counted.
Which just proves my theory: scholars are lazy.
So here’s what I want to know. With so many words at our disposal, why do we only use about 2000 in a week? (Apparently scholars can count to 2000 before they get bored and take a nap.)
I don’t get it. With such beautiful combinations of letters and sounds available to us, why don’t we make use of them?
Just once, I’d like someone to answer the phone “Greetings!” rather than hello. Or when I ask a person how they are, I would be thrilled to hear “Tremendous!” rather than fine.
Some words simply beg to be used, even though it can be hard to work them into a sentence. Words like obtuse and discombobulate and fetching and misogynist tickle your mouth when you say them, but don’t necessarily lend themselves to a conversation with your neighbor.
“Good morning, Sarah! My but you look fetching in your Wal-Mart robe and curlers this morning. How is your misogynist husband today? Still smacking you around when you burn the toast? In my humble opinion, he is an obtuse twit and you should discombobulate his manhood while he’s sleeping.”
Of course I know discombobulate doesn’t mean to lop off the genitalia of a sleeping man, but it should.
Come on people. Join with me and at least for today, let’s use words that sound cool… even if we don’t know what they mean. Call someone you love and masticate the fat with them. Grab your coworker and whisper something surreptitious about the boss and his secretary. Call your sweet baboo and promise to do iniquitous and quite possibly illegal things to him or her at their earliest convenience.
I’ll do my part. I swear on my favorite red shoes, the first person to use the words splendid, perfunctory and dazzling in a sentence to me today will have to withstand a wicked smooch from crazy Southern lips. (Please Jesus, do not let that ugly guy at the gas station with four teeth and a gigantic ring of keys have an impressive vocabulary.)
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