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platonicsolid
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22 Dec 2006, 2:33 am

just wondering if anyone knows what constitutes a 'big word'??

i guess my vocabulary is pretty good because a lot of times people don't seem to understand what i am saying like for example the word 'insurmountable' was completely lost on a seemingly well educated young lass who responded: "oh, you're one of those guys who uses 'big words.' i've been getting this kind of talk since i was young and i still don't get it.

someone please help . . . what is a 'big word'???



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22 Dec 2006, 2:35 am

It's in the eye of the beholder.


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blackcat
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22 Dec 2006, 2:43 am

umm...Antidisestablishmentterrinism??(if i spelled it right)


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22 Dec 2006, 2:49 am

A "big word" is a word which is not in the speaking vocabularies of most Americans. It is usually three or more syllables long, but not always--for example, "deluge", "queue", "feline".

If you're not in America, then of course the definition of "big word" changes to your country's usual speaking vocabulary.


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22 Dec 2006, 2:50 am

def *Big Word*, not capable of being overcome

Or I am unbeatable
unstoppable

Too many definitions of the same meaning all over the place bound to get one's people don't know we don't have the time anymore and waste of time to try and talk to someone with them, unless you’re around that type....

Not wrong but if someone doesn't just ask what it mean's stick 2 fingers up :p



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22 Dec 2006, 3:27 am

I'd usually consider a word over 4 syllables to be a "big word".

Antidisestablishmentarianism definitely qualifies as a big word.


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22 Dec 2006, 3:46 am

Callista is right. A "big" word is an obscure word. It can be SHORT like "ken", or REALLY long. A word that ISN'T big can actually be longer. Don't worry about it. I dumbed down my vocabulary just TOO much. I don't suggest that anyone should do it.

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22 Dec 2006, 7:15 am

I dumbed down my vocabulary a lot. Then I got into English class and got laughed at for being so dumb. Then I smartened up again and got laughed at for that.

Back then I did it for reasons of peer pressure.

Now I adapt my vocabulary for the person I'm speaking to, in the same way as I would for a child. The more I like somebody, the more I'm likely to choose my vocabulary to fit them comfortably. But these are nice people. I don't bother with nasty people at all any more.



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22 Dec 2006, 7:59 am

Claradoon,

Yeah, I do that to a degree as well. And if someone uses a "big" word in front of me, I may use that and similar words with them. Still, the pool of words I usually pick from in general usage are relatively common and simple. Sometimes I may have to use a "big" word, and I usually do.

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22 Dec 2006, 11:07 am

I most definately dumb down my words when writting because I can barely spell one sylable words with out the spell check.I also tend not to say some words that may pop onto my head from something I have been reading but have not heard pronounced before.I have misspronounced to many words that I only know due to my reading.Thats embarrassing as hell.My vocabulary tends t reflect whatever I am reading at the time...was really a mess,when I was reading a lot of old English lit.I have been teased ,not only for my vocabulary but for formal sentence structure.I credit this "flaw" as a bi-product of reading well written books.(my speel checkers isnt working,apoligize for those who cant make sense to my spelling errors)


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22 Dec 2006, 11:23 am

krex wrote:
my speel checkers isnt working,apoligize for those who cant make sense to my spelling errors)


I was doing ok, until I got to this part. YIKES! 8O

So what authors do you like best?



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22 Dec 2006, 12:16 pm

krex wrote:
I most definately dumb down my words when writting because I can barely spell one sylable words with out the spell check.


I know what you mean. When I am writing in script I am always getting frustrated because I cannot remember the spelling of certain words, some of them absurdly basic.



zastoi
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22 Dec 2006, 12:24 pm

i've always found that a 'big' word tends to just be the correct one :)



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22 Dec 2006, 2:01 pm

zastoi wrote:
i've always found that a 'big' word tends to just be the correct one :)


Exactly!

This is one of the "aspie" traits that caused my social life to suffer as a child, because I've always been a stickler for precision; as I got al little older, when speaking with other children, (around 9 or 10 years old - when the social cliques were forming quickly) , I noticed that you got labelled a "nerd" if you use "big words".

I even went through a phase when I began junior high where I was depressed about not having any friends, so I tried to "dumb it down" as much as possible, making spelling mistakes, using bad grammar (verbally and in writing), and even trying to lower my grades on purpose to seem more "like them".



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23 Dec 2006, 6:36 am

Whenever I hear people talk about how they hate when people use pig words, I want to tell them that it would hurt if they added some more polysyllabic terms to their vocabulary.

Mostly because I'm sure they'd hate the word polysyllabic.