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Why do I use weird words?

Status:: budding

Tags:: writing


⚠️ Disclaimer ⚠️ I'm just a person trying to figure things out; thinking and learning with the garage door up. As such the thoughts here should be viewed as incomplete, inelegant and extremely malleable. Take a look at all of the things I am curious about here.

I use 'weird' words. Weird turns of phrase too but mainly weird words. By weird, of course, I mean uncommon or in a different context than you'd expect. Also Weird doesn't exist. This isn't out of some weird intellectual superiority complex, or a desire to raise my own status, and I CERTAINLY do not look down on anyone who doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about.

I do this for several reasons

I like words. Unique ones, ones that are fun to say, overly specific ones, you name it.

I've been collecting words and phrases that I like for almost a decade at this point of which the full list can be found here. I'm pretty shrewd with what I add there, I have to either enjoy the word or enjoy saying it.

I dislike personal patterns, especially when it comes to conversation and speech. If I've said something before I'm probably going to try and find a different, more interesting (for me at least) way to say it again. This is an example of the joke machine mentality I grew up with and thrive in.

I get a thrill when I can cleverly use a word, or convey an idea in a new and precise way.

I read (and have read) a LOT in many different styles, eras, and genres.

I spend time in many vastly different social circles; ones that each have very specific lingo and ways of communicating. Blending these speech patterns can result in fun new turns of phrase (see # 2).

How a designer communicates and talks if very different from how a RPI alum communicates which is also different from how an improviser communicates.

Points I want to make

have run into an odd anti-intellectualism and anger when I use weird words

This tweet haunts me

__'”Write like you talk” is good advice, but it’s limiting if you follow it too closely.

Here’s what I recommend instead:

1) Maximize both word clarity and word diversity.

2) Add freshness to your writing by pulling from the “words people know but don’t say” bucket.'__