Friday, April 16, 2010


I like words. Big ones, small ones, common ones and unusual ones. When I was a kid I liked reading the dictionary. And the thesaurus. And yes, it was a really weird thing for a kid to enjoy doing. Even today, I will occasionally go to the dictionary and just read a page or two. Still weird but still enjoyable.

I recently used the word “deleterious” in something I was writing. I didn’t think about what word to use nor did I make a conscious decision to use that particular word, it just flowed naturally out of me.

I was questioned about my word usage and was tempted to replace it with something simpler and more readily understood. I decided it was a perfectly good word to use that accurately described what I wanted to say.

When my daughters were growing up and first learning to talk, my wife and I decided that we were going to speak “normally” to them. Regular adult conversation, not “baby talk.” If they didn’t understand a certain word we used, they asked what it meant and we told them. Instead of dumbing-down, we smartened-up.

Today, they are excellent communicators.

As you go through the days and months ahead, don’t be afraid to use a word or two that might require you to explain what it means. Your brain will thank you and the world will be a “brighter” place.

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