Muzzily Muddled

The life and times of a 30-something recent law school graduate trying to understand the past, figure out the future and scrape through the present in one piece.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nerdy Sir Mix-a-Lot

I like big butts WORDS!!!

(My apologies to all the Sir Mix-a-Lot fans.  It was very wrong of me.)

But seriously, I adore words.  I think the English language is fascinating.  I think all language is fascinating, which is probably why I studied three different foreign languages in undergrad.  It makes me very sad that I have to consciously simplify my speech and writing so that I don't offend or alienate my audience.

I own eight dictionaries, I have a dictionary app on my iPhone, and I have a dictionary link in my bookmarks bar.  I wish we lived in a world where everyone else wanted to learn more words, rather than wanting me to use simpler words.  Yes, I do understand why I can't always speak as I will or write as I will.  But I don't have to like it, and daresay I never will.  (Lovely example, isn't it?  I would use the word daresay constantly if it wouldn't make people roll their eyes at me.)

So, instead of just ranting about it, I am going to use this blog to share some of my favorite words.  :)  As the first installment, I will share a single word that sums up very nicely why "big" words can be ideal.  How often is it that you have to use a number of "small" words in lieu of a single "big" word?  Laconic is one example.  Look at the options:

"He spoke laconically."
"He spoke using few words."

It's not only more laconic to use the word laconic, it's also more picturesque.  There is so much substance to that word.  Maybe it's just me, but I think laconic has a beautiful connotation that is lacking in any "plain English" version.  

Ok, ok.  Any readers I may have had quit reading this post ages ago.  I'm sorry.  I promise that any forthcoming vocab posts will be more fun and less rant.  But I do feel better now.  :)

Official definition of the word of the week courtesy of


using few words; expressing much in few words; concise: a laconic reply.

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