Vexing Vocabulary

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“Actually, I’ve always had a rather extensive vocabulary, not to mention a phenomenal grasp of grammar and a superlative command of syntax. I simply chose not to employ them.”~ Courtland Mead as ‘Uh-Huh’ in “The Little Rascals” [1994]

In my book, etymology rocks!!

It is something that totally fascinates me and usually I do what I can to make sure that I am increasing my own vocabulary.

Throughout the years, I’ve done so for various reasons. One to be smarter, one to sound like I know what I am talking about, one to be cool. And so on.

But I think that I also enjoy learning about the origins in which particular words and phrases come from. And I am always trying to find other words that would fit so closely to the original word to make sure that I don’t sound like I am a broken record with the rest of society.

Several years ago I had actually started a code with two other friends. We used the English language, but when spoken… it didn’t really make much sense to those listening. And that was the point! Being at that young of an age where the discovery of females had just begun, we wanted a way to talk about them without them knowing it.

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t perverts. The code was not as degrading as I am probably making it sound. For example: “sapphires” were blue eyes. “Emeralds” were green eyes, and so on.

It was just our own personal take on the English language.

But the English language has also changed so much over the past several years. There are words now that we say, that had a completely different meaning so long ago.

Words like gay, bitch, hot, and cool.

'i' before 'c' accept after... oh screw this, I'm hot!!!

'i' before 'c' accept after... oh screw it! I don't need this, I'm hot!!!

The word “gay” which was used to describe being happy now has its own definition of describing someone’s sexual orientation. The word “bitch” used to be solely describing a female dog, now it is said in a derogatory meaning, commonly against women. “Hot and cool” were defining temperature, now its defining the social statuses of being attractive and socially acceptable.

I can even remember a time when on television, you were not able or supposed to say the word “bitch”.

Just the other day, I found something that actually made me happy. The word DIVORCE has more meaning or definition than the commonly understood “dissolution of marriage”. When the word “divorce” is spoken- many people shutter. Many MARRIED people, I should say.

But the word is more than just a dissolution of a marriage contract.

Some people have actually heard me say, “If you do that- I wanna divorce.” Those who have heard it, either understand what I am saying, or they get all wonky and uncomfortable because they don’t understand.

In this case, the second definition of the word DIVORCE means to separate or break apart. So then if I say “If you do that- I wanna divorce”… means “if you do whatever it is you are going to do, then I’m not going to speak to you any more.” I am going to have to separate myself from you, or divorce myself from you, essentially. And that should be a great indication to you that I am saying that I disagree with your wanting to do that and strongly advice you not to go through with it.

Brushing up on your vocabulary couldn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean you have to completely talk differently. It just means that you have more than a few words to express yourself in other ways. Even if your goal is to sound impressive, I am sure that you will succeed. But as I always say, and always will say: “Knowledge is power.”

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