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Apr 28

Nerdy Wordys

Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 in Something to think about


I have a trick.  I use it to make people think that I’m very intelligent, even though I’m not really.  I learned this trick from my dear dad when I was very small as I was evesdropping at the kitchen table.  He would be describing something, whether it was something that happened in work, or something he’d picked up in a newspaper article, and would drop impossibly big words.  He would even accent certain parts of the words, making me think that he was showing off for my benefit, thinking I wouldn’t understand him.  It worked.  I never did.  A typical example would be something like:

 “It seems that it would drastically substansiate the claim…” or:
 “That picture is anatomically incorrect.”  This sort of talk to a five-year-old is baffling.

So, to instill the same sort of awe in other people, as I grew up, I’d look for ridiculously long words in the dictionary to use in casual conversation or in english essays.  What a geek.  I know!  I just love this language.  It’s something I’m going to encourage my kids to do, too.  It did, however, get me into trouble with teachers.  I remember once when I was about seven, I wrote an essay for school.  The teacher seemed very cross with me the day after I handed it in. 

 “Stand up at the front of the classroom.”  She said.  “I want to prove to you all why it is NOT a good idea to get your parents to do your homework for you!”

When I was nervously standing to attention in front of a sea of watchful scandal-loving eyes, she then proceeded to list words from my essay and get me to define each one.  They were words such as ‘dishevelled‘, ‘menagerie‘, and ‘audacious‘, as far as I can remember.  I defined each one quickly, watching teacher’s face get redder and redder.  When she’d finished, she roared at me to sit back down and to ‘not be such a smart-alec!’.  This was the same teacher who used to shake a pair of scissors at the class when she was frustrated with us.  One day the two halves of the scissors came apart and one blade went flying through the air to lodge in the cork-board at the back of the class with an amazing ‘DOYOYOYOYING’ sound.  It was awe-inspiring.  Ironically, her laziness or tardiness punishment for us was to do the word-definition excersises in the back of our school dictionary!  Go figure.

To this day, by habit, my brain will only let me use big words in sentences.  I can never think of the little ones.  It seems pretentious, but it comes in really handy in some conversations.  Quite often I get labelled before a person has a chance to talk to me because of my youth, or the way I look. So what starts off as a descending lecture often ends up as ‘I’ve misjudged you..’ or ‘It seems that you have a clear understanding…’, even though I haven’t a clue.  It’s pretty satisfying.

If anyone’s asking, my favourite word is ‘discombobulated’.  My least favourite is that nasty ‘c’ word that everyone loves using so much.  You know the one I mean.

And your favourite nerdy wordy would be…

Bring on the comments

  1. Grandad says:

    I don’t know what this is about because I can’t read all them big words.
    I know it must be something about me because I can see the word ‘dad’ in there.

    Actually, what happened was that we used to bulk out your baby-food with fibre – usually shredded pages from a dictionary. Maybe that’s the problem?

  2. Testify! I am continuously criticised for speaking the same way I write! Perhaps some women find long, complex words attractive?
    I sound like a prick, using mind-bending words, but if people want to understand me, they know what a dictionary is.

    Or maybe they didn’t; that was the problem.

    And my favourite word is prolix – it means, oddly enough, exactly what you’ve just spoken about, being verbose.

    And I hate the word collander too … *shivers*

  3. baino says:

    I sagitate and prognosticate that this honourable reader is overwhelmed by the exhuberance of your verbosity

  4. Brianf says:

    I think my favorite word is the onomatapiea of the sound a half a pair of scissors make when they inbed themselves in a cork board in the back of a classroom.

  5. Top of my big word list at the moment is:

    ux·o·ri·ous [ uk sáwree ?ss ]
    Definition: excessively devoted to your wife: describes a man who is excessively devoted to or submissive to his wife

  6. Grandad says:

    Strange you should mention that word Flirty. I was researching “uxoricide” only the other day [purely for the purposes of Scrabble, of course..]

  7. K8 says:

    Onamatoepoia.. topea.. matopeia.. is not alf ard to spel but.

    Uxorious is now my word of the day. Ta very much. I’ll use it when me fella tells me I’m a prolix.

  8. Grandad says:

    How about Sesquipedalian? :)

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