Thursday, March 18, 2010




: speaking in or characterized by a high-flown often bombastic style or manner

i have never heard this word before; i cannot help but picture some poor fool trying to say the word "magnificent" and instead coming out with this.

in mirriam-webster's example, they reference specifically the overuse of metaphors and obscure language. this is particularly noticeable when someone is, per se, out of their "vernacular league." i struggle with this a lot in writing. on occasion i will stumble upon an exquisite word in the thesaurus that i have never seen before. i look it up in the dictionary and find the meaning to be ideal for what i am trying to communicate. but i'm hesitant to use it because i feel like if i haven't heard it before, perhaps the reader hasn't heard it before either, thus it becomes alienating. the use of that word may communicate to the reader, i know this word and you do not. that is why i chose to use it. i have such an extensive vocabulary that you should feel pretty awful about the limits of yours. i don't want that to be my message. plain language really has a greater impact. at least, in my writing. i wouldn't want MAGNILOQUENCE to push someone away from my writing, even if it is the perfect word.

a perfect example of how not to gain a reader is to use a word like MAGNILOQUENT.

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