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I don't think that staying in school has something to do with vocabulary. However, every writer want to prove how knowledgeable he is, by using words that are difficult for his readers to understand, without the use of a Ransdom, or Oxford Dictionary. It's better to simplify the words, so that it's quick and easy for the reader to continue reading what's in front of him. Once the reader has difficulties in understanding, in a flash, the words on the pages in a book, or newspaper that he's reading from, it means that the writer has not met the objectives for his work.
Simplifying all the words in an article makes it effortless for even a little child to comprehend without the scratching of his forehead three and four times, while reading it.
Excellent point, Merle!
>>Once the reader has difficulties in understanding, in a flash, the words on the pages in a book, or newspaper that he's reading from, it means that the writer has not met the objectives for his work.<<
DNJ, that's not necessarily always true. If the writing is directed to a selected audience as in an academic setting for example, "big words" may well be unavoidable and very appropriate. If that's the kind of audience your writing is for, sophisticated writing ought to be expected. I have absolutely no problem with that.
However when the audience is the general public with varying degrees of comprehension, it is a basic requirement that the writer of any subject expresses him/herself as much as he/she can in simple understandable language. Otherwise, while some readers may not have any problems, chances are many will hastily gloss over the article without having a clue what the writer wrote about. In a case like this, your point is absolutely correct. Stylized writing is one thing. Big word writing is quite another. The two do not always have to go together!
But even boring and generally hard-to-follow subjects can be made simple and interesting for the average reader to understand. That brings to mind an excellent article I read recently about Hotel Investments in Grenada written by a Brian Samuel. In the article entitled "The LaSource Saga," Mr. Samuel used simple, very easy to follow words and terms in discussing and explaining what he could also have explained by using highly technical economic and financial terminology that most people might not have understood. The result was an enjoyable tale about his involvement in the original LaSource Hotel program that some readers commented on for its simplicity!
Mr. Samuel KNEW WHO HIS AUDIENCE WAS. It was the general public, so he chose instead to tell his story in plain simple language for the average Joe/Jane reader to grasp without always running for a dictionary.
Kudos to Mr. Samuel for achieving that! And Merle "ditto" to you for bringing up the subject.
Words, whether big or small were made to be used. There's absolutely no doubt to that. Like you said, they've their circle, where it should be used.
Frankly, Merle's point was for the ordinary people. It didn't depict the highly-qualified educated men, nor women. I responded to it in the same like demeanor, as was pointed out, by Miss Edmund.
It is only fair that "big words" be targeted to a specific audience, that have no problem in understanding them. Other than that, the average men and women don't fully comprehend just how to use a dictionary, to quickly grasp the meaning of "big words they're confronted with." Even if the dictionary comes in alphabetical order, to avoid excessive looking through it to find a word. It is very important for a writer of, let's say, fiction/non-fiction, or mystery, for that matter of fact, to first know the audiences he's writing for. Otherwise, his work will not be great, no matter how much work he put into it.
I always appreciate "big words" crawling up and down my ally! It gives me the flexability needed to read the dictiomary. I have no bad feelings about that! To me, its getting to know something that I didn't know before. And, that's a plus thing on my side.
It was an excellent point Merle made. She intended to soften up the deliberate use of "big words", when they aren't necessary, for the sake of the ordinary readers, principally on this forum.
I couldn't appreciate Merle's point more!
Mr. Samuel knew where to start, and where to end his choices of words. He's one heck of an intellegent man!
Some people use their so called education to use words that the ordinary reader needs to look into a dictionary to find the meaning. Some of us are fortunate enough to know the meaning of words, while others have to think about the word. This forum is for everyone to read. Brain or Brainless. I may be considered Brainless.