As I watch the TV talk show political banter every day, I’m noticing a consistent trend. First, let me acknowledge the futility and self-inflicted mental anguish which comes from watching political banter. My hope is that one day politicians will begin to behave the way, I’m sure, their Mothers wanted them to behave i.e. friendly, kind, and honest with all of their constituents. Hasn’t happened yet, but I wait and watch.
The trend I’m referring to is the use of words which most of their audience won’t understand. I keep my “Google machine” handy so I’m ready whenever a new one pops up.
My first example of the big word which the majority of the audience doesn’t understand is “dystopia” (an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives). We all know from watching TV that our world is disintegrating into dystopia at an ever-increasing rate each day.
Next comes “sycophant” (a “suck-up, leech, toady, parasite, just add slime). In today’s political environment they are ubiquitous. Back in the eighties, my friend Ralph was throwing “ubiquitous” around ubiquitously until I finally had to ask him, “what does that mean?”. It means common. Commentators are now prefacing sycophant with obsequious (servile, slavish}. Obsequious sycophants! They do most of the Sunday talk show interviews.
The latest one which popped up this morning is “panoply” (magnificent, impressive, ceremonial armor). I must be dumb. I had to do an immediate “Google”.
My point to all of the above is that the average viewer doesn’t understand and intellectual curiosity died long ago so they’re not My point to all of the above is that the average viewer doesn’t understand and intellectual curiosity died long ago so they’re not goggling to find out.
goggling to find out.
To my avid readers, (that might be singular) you may recall from a previous article a guy by the name of John Srock, the owner of a sheetrock business. Srock is his real family name. The sheetrock business part is coincidence. John didnot read the 800-page Mueller report and he has no idea what these words mean.
Whenever I read, whether fact or fiction, I often consult the internet for definitions. Even more frequently, I will interrupt my reading to search the web for a place or historical figure mentioned in the book or article. This enriches the reading experience and improves my vocabulary!
My “college sophomore” level vocabulary makes the dictionary necessary. The alternative is to read only 10th grade level writing.