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I was taught never to use this word when the word "use" would work just as well which is almost always. Do you agree?

What about when speaking? I am hearing more and more people using it when they talk.

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That's funny, because I don't remember using that word once in conversation in my entire life.  

I guess I associate it more with something academic or scientific.  

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Language patterns change.

In general I would say that utilize has been more formal, using it too often could make a person sound stuffy or pretentious. If it moves into common informal usage though it loses that association.

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Never really thought about it, but I tend to agree that unless you are giving a technical or scientific presentation, it is not necessary.  But, sometimes, just for fun, I insert "bigger words" to make my speech more dramatic.  Like if I am reminding my kid for the 10,000th time to do something and I need a little variety.

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In my experience, the word "utilize," or extensions of it (i.e., utilization) are terms that refer to specific actions or tasks in a particular field. It's more technical and/or specific. It could also refer to different actions depending on the context of its use.

The word "use" is more of a general term.

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I guess it would also make sense if you were going to "put to use" something that isn't usually "used."  For example, you might "utilize" idle space or something that occurs naturally in your backyard.  Or we "utilize" wind/water/solar power that is there whether we use it or not.

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No, I wouldn't agree. We use both at our house and I hear people use both all the time.  The word utilize isn't reserved for only technical, formal and academic situations, there are a variety of  situations where it's the better choice than use.   That's a weird thing to teach someone.

 

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I have never heard of this "rule" before. They are synonyms, one is not inherently superior to the other. It seems random to insist that it is always better to use a particular word over another.

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I know some people who say "utilize" all the time, instead of "use." I once looked up the difference between the two, and came up with something similar to what wintermom said.  IMHO, it seems like these people I know use "utilize" simply to sound smart. 

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I was taught that "utilize" is used when you are using a tool for other than its intended purpose: He utilized the shovel to tip the fan backwards. "Use" is when the correct tool is chosen for the job: He used the shovel to dig a hole.

But, in real life conversation, I don't think I've heard that distinction held up and I think they've been treated as interchangeable. Utilize sounds more educated to some people and I think it's brought in when they want to sound objective or smart.

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3 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

I was taught that "utilize" is used when you are using a tool for other than its intended purpose: He utilized the shovel to tip the fan backwards. "Use" is when the correct tool is chosen for the job: He used the shovel to dig a hole.

But, in real life conversation, I don't think I've heard that distinction held up and I think they've been treated as interchangeable. Utilize sounds more educated to some people and I think it's brought in when they want to sound objective or smart.

Or maybe they are smart and it’s their normal way of speaking. Sounding smart isn’t a bad thing. 

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2 minutes ago, TechWife said:

Or maybe they are smart and it’s their normal way of speaking. Sounding smart isn’t a bad thing. 

I never said it was? I had qualifiers in my sentence, which was intended to narrow my statement to a specific group, not a blanket statement. If someone is smart and decides to use utilize, more power to them, I guess.

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I didn't mention it before, but this thread seems to reinforce a suspicion I have about regional cultural norms.  Moving to the South I've been surprised by how people react to what is considered adult vocabulary in the rest of the country.  I've had people react with surprise and humor when I used the words like dearth, bio-available, and others as though they were beyond the normal vocabulary of the typical American adult.  It appears some people have accepted the idea that language should be "dumbed down" or you're trying to "sound smart."  These words were the most appropriate for the context and since I was talking to adults, I assumed they had at least high school educations, and many had college degrees, so I used these high school level words.  The person who commented on dearth was a former high school Spanish teacher who said, "I wasn't homeschooled.  What does dearth mean?"

Now I have to ask, to test this theory a bit, what part of the country are you from and what is the typical education level from your region, and do you think there's a rule or cultural norm about not using this type of language. 

I'm from a large city in the SW, a blue collar neighborhood with high school graduates and skilled labor, but I attended a public high school had a wide mix of kids from families that included white collar professional parents with college degrees, blue collar families with high school diplomas and skilled labor training, poor families of high school drop out and children of illegal immigrant parents who were mostly farm laborers.  It went from a small town to a huge city in a generation with people moving to it from all over the US looking for better opportunity for their families. We weren't taught rules like utilize vs. use. We were taught to use the word that conveys the most accurate shade of meaning.  People didn't say anything out loud about thinking people who used higher level vocabulary were trying to "sounding smart."  Smart wasn't a negative where I come from.

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4 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

I was taught never to use this word when the word "use" would work just as well which is almost always. Do you agree?

What about when speaking? I am hearing more and more people using it when they talk.

 

One of my journalism school teachers was a stickler for this.  He hated the word "utilize," so I rarely use it to this day.

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I use utilize in specific instances - both I think have been mentioned. Using a tool for a purpose different than it was intended, and to remind someone to use a tool they might not normally think of. Like I would never say, "Utilize your pencil to take your test." But I would say, "Remember to utilize the 3-D printer and the soldering iron while we have access to the makerspace."

Edited by Sk8ermaiden
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4 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Now I have to ask, to test this theory a bit, what part of the country are you from and what is the typical education level from your region, and do you think there's a rule or cultural norm about not using this type of language. 

...

Smart wasn't a negative where I come from.

Southern AZ. I went to more rigorous schools but lived in a more rural, less-education-focused neighborhood. I think as far as the region goes, we are seen as having a lower education level. Most people I interact with in conversation have college degrees. 

I've been teased for my vocabulary, especially in high school, even though it was a college prep setting. I will say it was more of just high school kids teasing you for whatever seemed different, or low fruit on the teasing tree. I don't generally have judgement for people's usage of large words, though I do notice if people use (to continue on your scale of "high school level words") more "kindergarten" level words, like peepee, potty, ouchie, etc. And I'm not saying this is a judgement, either: my mom uses potty almost exclusively for whatever reason, it doesn't necessarily reflect on her intelligence or her education (Masters in Library Science). But it is something I notice, and may use to later make a judgement about their personality or education when taken in with other factors. 

In general smart is not a negative in my own bubble of people. Using large words is fine, but you have to watch your tone and generally choose words you 99% know everyone will get. I may curb my vocab around certain people, especially in my family (some of whom are ESL). Not because they might think I'm showing off, but I don't want to accidentally embarrass them or make them have to ask what I mean. Tailoring to your audience seems to be natural. 

As for "this type of language" and using utilize, and further explaining my understanding of this word: I use utilize, I hear others use utilize. This particular word does not carry a smarty weight to it for me (like I said above, interchangeable with use), EXCEPT I do note that I have heard it specifically chosen to, yes, "sound smart". They also chose other words with the same reason -- not be be more clear, not to talk as they normally do, but to make a point that they were the higher intelligence in the conversation. It was definitely a pretentious use of the word. I guess you had to be there to pick up on all of the clues? But it's happened a few times, enough for me to say that this word is singled out for this purpose at least on some occasion. This was the experience(s) I was referencing in my earlier post.

Generally when I use the phrase "sounding smart" I'm not doing it to put down actually being smart, but calling out a person's word choice to put on airs and try to mark themself as the intellectual in the conversation. I know that this is not the only use of the phrase. But clarifying what I intend. 

Oh, also on your "High school level words", after thinking about it more: after typing that 'most people I interact with have college degrees', I notice I didn't have much expectation because of this; I guess I don't see a college degree as bearing on their vocabulary. I think I judge more on how the person themselves talk or if they have known interests like reading, etc. Perhaps my expectation of high school level words is lower than yours? I would expect most people to know dearth, I guess, but not use it in a general setting (not that one can't or it's pretentious, just more I haven't heard it in a long time). I also expect bigger words in written things

Also, this springs another tangent in my brain: I've been watching Murder She Wrote recently. JB Fletcher's word choice is a delight for me, as well as her sentence structures. You can tell she (well, the script writers) had a love of the language, but doesn't really come across as pretentious. But also hearing it, I notice I attribute some of her choices as more old-fashioned, while when I watched this years and years ago I didn't have that sense. I'm wondering if as a culture (or maybe it's just me as a person), there is a perception not that certain words/sentences are "too smart" as much as they "make you sound old". 

IDK, just more food for thought on the topic. I don't know if I actually am helping your survey or just muddying waters at this point. 

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I didn't mention it before, but this thread seems to reinforce a suspicion I have about regional cultural norms.  Moving to the South I've been surprised by how people react to what is considered adult vocabulary in the rest of the country.  I've had people react with surprise and humor when I used the words like dearth, bio-available, and others as though they were beyond the normal vocabulary of the typical American adult.  It appears some people have accepted the idea that language should be "dumbed down" or you're trying to "sound smart."  These words were the most appropriate for the context and since I was talking to adults, I assumed they had at least high school educations, and many had college degrees, so I used these high school level words.  The person who commented on dearth was a former high school Spanish teacher who said, "I wasn't homeschooled.  What does dearth mean?"

Now I have to ask, to test this theory a bit, what part of the country are you from and what is the typical education level from your region, and do you think there's a rule or cultural norm about not using this type of language. 

I'm from a large city in the SW, a blue collar neighborhood with high school graduates and skilled labor, but I attended a public high school had a wide mix of kids from families that included white collar professional parents with college degrees, blue collar families with high school diplomas and skilled labor training, poor families of high school drop out and children of illegal immigrant parents who were mostly farm laborers.  It went from a small town to a huge city in a generation with people moving to it from all over the US looking for better opportunity for their families. We weren't taught rules like utilize vs. use. We were taught to use the word that conveys the most accurate shade of meaning.  People didn't say anything out loud about thinking people who used higher level vocabulary were trying to "sounding smart."  Smart wasn't a negative where I come from.

I have mentioned this before on here, but I was in my twenties before I learned that a lot of adults use a low-level vocabulary and have no access to words like dearth. Some adults - college-educated people - directly told me they didn’t understand my words often. I was accused of “talking posh”. I did start editing my word choices around some people because of this. 

The word that particularly stands out in my memory is “ostentatious.” I told someone I didn’t like a particular style of house because I found it ostentatious. It was then this guy pointed out that he never has any idea what I’m saying because I talk posh. *shrug*

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54 minutes ago, Quill said:

I have mentioned this before on here, but I was in my twenties before I learned that a lot of adults use a low-level vocabulary and have no access to words like dearth. Some adults - college-educated people - directly told me they didn’t understand my words often. I was accused of “talking posh”. I did start editing my word choices around some people because of this. 

The word that particularly stands out in my memory is “ostentatious.” I told someone I didn’t like a particular style of house because I found it ostentatious. It was then this guy pointed out that he never has any idea what I’m saying because I talk posh. *shrug*

 

So, in other words, he found your use of words such as "ostentatious" to be ostentatious?

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As far as regional differences, I will say that when I moved from a big city to a rural area (still in the same state), in 8th grade, my normal speech was suddenly viewed as "showing off" and I was actually bullied over it.

But even where I "came from," using unnecessarily fancy words just because you could was viewed as sophomoric (no pun intended).  It was especially pathetic considering how often someone misused "adult vocabulary" or even made up a new word without realizing it.

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As far as the "sounding smart" side of things, the people in my life who would find unnecessary word usage "pretentious" are very smart people.  They are also humble people.  In our culture, it is considered immature to feel the need to prove how smart you are by showcasing the words you know.  Though of course, if the goal is simply being precise, they can tell the difference.

Edited by SKL

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7 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

I was taught never to use this word when the word "use" would work just as well which is almost always. Do you agree?

What about when speaking? I am hearing more and more people using it when they talk.

Oh, yes, ITA.

It is the same thing when speaking: don't use the big word when you can use a simpler word.

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4 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

I was taught that "utilize" is used when you are using a tool for other than its intended purpose: He utilized the shovel to tip the fan backwards. "Use" is when the correct tool is chosen for the job: He used the shovel to dig a hole.

But, in real life conversation, I don't think I've heard that distinction held up and I think they've been treated as interchangeable. Utilize sounds more educated to some people and I think it's brought in when they want to sound objective or smart.

 

I use and hear the distinction quite often. 

50 minutes ago, Ellie said:

Oh, yes, ITA.

It is the same thing when speaking: don't use the big word when you can use a simpler word.

 

Why? 

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2 hours ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 

So, in other words, he found your use of words such as "ostentatious" to be ostentatious?

Precisely.

However, ignorant of the meaning, that irony did not occur to him. 😏

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

Oh, yes, ITA.

It is the same thing when speaking: don't use the big word when you can use a simpler word.

Hmm. I don’t think that at all. I most enjoy using the precise word; if that’s an intelligent word, I’m using it. I only edit myself if I have doubts about my company. 

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4 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

I never said it was? I had qualifiers in my sentence, which was intended to narrow my statement to a specific group, not a blanket statement. If someone is smart and decides to use utilize, more power to them, I guess.

It's not that someone is decides to use the word "utilize," it's that using the word "utilize" is a part of their normal speech pattern. Most people don't give detailed thought to their regular speech patterns, so when someone is "smart," then they aren't "trying to sound smart" when they use any given word, they are simply using their normal speech patterns. Does that make sense? 

I just realized, too, that you may be using the word "smart" differently than I am. I am using it as a synonym for intelligent, but I wonder if you are using it as meaning "smart-alek" or "smart-a**?"

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4 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I didn't mention it before, but this thread seems to reinforce a suspicion I have about regional cultural norms.  Moving to the South I've been surprised by how people react to what is considered adult vocabulary in the rest of the country.  I've had people react with surprise and humor when I used the words like dearth, bio-available, and others as though they were beyond the normal vocabulary of the typical American adult.  It appears some people have accepted the idea that language should be "dumbed down" or you're trying to "sound smart."  These words were the most appropriate for the context and since I was talking to adults, I assumed they had at least high school educations, and many had college degrees, so I used these high school level words.  The person who commented on dearth was a former high school Spanish teacher who said, "I wasn't homeschooled.  What does dearth mean?"

Now I have to ask, to test this theory a bit, what part of the country are you from and what is the typical education level from your region, and do you think there's a rule or cultural norm about not using this type of language. 

I'm from a large city in the SW, a blue collar neighborhood with high school graduates and skilled labor, but I attended a public high school had a wide mix of kids from families that included white collar professional parents with college degrees, blue collar families with high school diplomas and skilled labor training, poor families of high school drop out and children of illegal immigrant parents who were mostly farm laborers.  It went from a small town to a huge city in a generation with people moving to it from all over the US looking for better opportunity for their families. We weren't taught rules like utilize vs. use. We were taught to use the word that conveys the most accurate shade of meaning.  People didn't say anything out loud about thinking people who used higher level vocabulary were trying to "sounding smart."  Smart wasn't a negative where I come from.

I have lived in the same region all of my life. I am currently living in an area with a lot of people that have advanced degrees - MS or PhD level. I have noticed when I visit my home town, I sometimes get some strange looks, but I attribute that to the fact that my accent has flattened and I no longer sound like a "local" to them. I think most people in that area have high school diplomas as their highest level of education, although there are many with a college degree. I can't think of any people with advanced degrees that aren't MD's, though. You're making me wonder if people are reacting to my vocabulary, not my accent, though.

Edited by TechWife

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I was taught that "SAT words" were like salt where a little goes a long way.

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39 minutes ago, TechWife said:

It's not that someone is decides to use the word "utilize," it's that using the word "utilize" is a part of their normal speech pattern. Most people don't give detailed thought to their regular speech patterns, so when someone is "smart," then they aren't "trying to sound smart" when they use any given word, they are simply using their normal speech patterns. Does that make sense? 

I just realized, too, that you may be using the word "smart" differently than I am. I am using it as a synonym for intelligent, but I wonder if you are using it as meaning "smart-alek" or "smart-a**?"

Yes, I think that we're using the phrase differently: 

Generally when I use the phrase "sounding smart" I'm not doing it to put down actually being smart (or using a large vocabulary), but calling out a person's word choice to put on airs and try to mark themself as the intellectual in the conversation. I know that this is not the only use of the phrase, but clarifying what I intend. 

If it's part of their regular vocabulary and speech pattern, it probably does not come across this way. I do use the word on occasion, by itself it isn't a negative.  But if you've had a conversation with someone where they are trying to intimidate you or show you up with large words, that's the type of situation I'm talking about here. (ETA to add: it doesn't just be intimidate you. it could be to impress you, too)

Edited by Moonhawk

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22 minutes ago, TechWife said:

It's not that someone is decides to use the word "utilize," it's that using the word "utilize" is a part of their normal speech pattern. Most people don't give detailed thought to their regular speech patterns, so when someone is "smart," then they aren't "trying to sound smart" when they use any given word, they are simply using their normal speech patterns. Does that make sense? 


So.much.this.  I have a very large vocabulary.  But I have never studied an English vocabulary list, never, not in high school, not in elementary, not for the SAT, not in college.  I seem to have become this way by osmosis - I was raised by people with good vocab and read a lot.  And I just talk.  I use the word that pops into my head at the moment.  I talk way to fast for my brain to even think about what words are coming out of my mouth in advance.  When I write, sure, I think about the most precise word for that purpose.  But when I'm talking?  I'm just talking.  And since these are not 'SAT' words for me, just English words, I often don't realize that someone else wouldn't know them.  I don't use big words all the time (I don't think), and most people I talk with I don't think have any trouble understanding me.... but I do sometimes have to reword something for dh, who is very much an engineer and not a reader (every bit as smart as me, but he's not a words guy - I have no idea how to design a silicon chip - we all have our strengths...) 

I actually had originally planned to not teach my kids English vocab at all, since I'd never seen the point for myself, I had an epiphany when they did not, in fact, pick it anywhere near as much as I had just from reading and living - enter MCT vocab.  So I did finally figure out that I'm an outlier.  But I'm not trying to sound 'smart' - I just speak using the words that pop into my head...  Dearth does seem a fairly normal word to me, not one I'd use all the time, but very useful for its purpose.

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How could someone actually know another person's motives for using a word? There's a narcissism in believing you can know that. 

This whole discussion is very classist to me.  Effective communication is getting ideas out of your own head as accurately as possible into another person's heads by using the most precise words as possible.  I'm not into dumbing things down-that would be insulting to the listener.  Smart people should sound smart. If someone use words incorrectly trying to impress someone, what's to me?  They revealed themselves to be poor communicators.  Shrug. How on earth do people think vocabularies expand? They're exposed to new words in speech and text and figure them out in context, ask the speaker,  or look them up. That's a dynamic, expansive, growth mindset.  If people grumble and complain because a word was used around them that they didn't already know or they're upset because it it's "uppity" or "too big" that's a static mindset.  Why would anyone choose to participate in a static mindset?

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15 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

How could someone actually know another person's motives for using a word? There's a narcissism in believing you can know that

 

That was my thinking, too. I can’t even imagine a person talking using “big” words and simultaneously thinking to themselves, “mwahahah! How can I say this and totally befuddle them with my grandiloquent vocabulary?” No. Someone intelligent with a large vocabulary is just talking, choosing the words that seem correct for the communication. 

Tangent alert: I was just thinking today about some old hymns and how sophisticated the vocabulary and the syntax are in those old songs. It seems likely that most of the faithful would understand all the words and would not be confused by the sentence constructions, either. Our modern church songs are really so dumbed down by comparison. To wit:

”Oh, to grace how great a debtor

daily I’m constrained to be.

Let thy goodness like a fetter

bind my wandering heart to Thee...”

vs.

”You’re rich in love

and you’re slow to anger

Your name is great

and Your heart is kind...”*

*I do like this song, though. It’s not a disparagement. 

Edited by Quill
Doh! Made the “your” mistake!
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Am I the only one who is wondering how using a simple word like “utilize” in conversation could ever be considered showing off? 

It’s not as though it’s some rare and complex vocabulary word! 

 

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7 hours ago, TechWife said:

Or maybe they are smart and it’s their normal way of speaking. Sounding smart isn’t a bad thing. 

 

I agree. Since when is having a wide vocabulary considered to be a negative? Seriously, if we don’t use the simplest of words, we are pretentious show-offs who are either trying to impress people or make them feel stupid by using terribly difficult words like “utilize?” Sorry, but that’s both ridiculous and insulting. 

I don’t know about you, but I have always noticed that the people who intentionally try to show off their impressive vocabularies often use their words incorrectly. It’s almost like they memorize some big words and try to force them into every possible sentence, except they don’t really understand the definitions of those words, so instead of impressing anyone, they come across sounding like idiots.

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Makes me think of the line I taught my then-8yo, "Sometimes I like to use big words even when I don't know what they mean. It makes me sound more photosynthesis." Obviously it was a put-on, but my dh still laughs about it.

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19 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I didn't mention it before, but this thread seems to reinforce a suspicion I have about regional cultural norms.  Moving to the South I've been surprised by how people react to what is considered adult vocabulary in the rest of the country.  I've had people react with surprise and humor when I used the words like dearth, bio-available, and others as though they were beyond the normal vocabulary of the typical American adult.  It appears some people have accepted the idea that language should be "dumbed down" or you're trying to "sound smart."  These words were the most appropriate for the context and since I was talking to adults, I assumed they had at least high school educations, and many had college degrees, so I used these high school level words.  The person who commented on dearth was a former high school Spanish teacher who said, "I wasn't homeschooled.  What does dearth mean?"

Now I have to ask, to test this theory a bit, what part of the country are you from and what is the typical education level from your region, and do you think there's a rule or cultural norm about not using this type of language. 

I'm from a large city in the SW, a blue collar neighborhood with high school graduates and skilled labor, but I attended a public high school had a wide mix of kids from families that included white collar professional parents with college degrees, blue collar families with high school diplomas and skilled labor training, poor families of high school drop out and children of illegal immigrant parents who were mostly farm laborers.  It went from a small town to a huge city in a generation with people moving to it from all over the US looking for better opportunity for their families. We weren't taught rules like utilize vs. use. We were taught to use the word that conveys the most accurate shade of meaning.  People didn't say anything out loud about thinking people who used higher level vocabulary were trying to "sounding smart."  Smart wasn't a negative where I come from.

 

That has not been my experience in the South.  I live in the suburbs of a very large SE city and most people do use extensive vocabularies.  

I am not FROM the South, but I think most of us tend to find camaraderie with similar people to ourselves.

My immediate area  (stats taken from City-Data.com) is:

 

HS or higher: 98%

BA or higher 77.5%

Graduate degree or higher:  32%

 

 

Edited by DawnM

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2 hours ago, SusanC said:

Makes me think of the line I taught my then-8yo, "Sometimes I like to use big words even when I don't know what they mean. It makes me sound more photosynthesis." Obviously it was a put-on, but my dh still laughs about it.


I have been watching old In Living Color episodes and one of my favorite character is Oswald Bates!

 

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When it comes to being taught about using vocabulary, I had a high school journalism teacher who banned common words.  We weren't allowed to use good, bad, said, big, small, very, and the like.  He insisted very harshly that anyone using "grade school" vocabulary sounded like a preschooler chanting the sames word over and over.  There were lists of synonyms on the walls in the classroom for most commonly used words in news articles.  If you didn't get the message right away he would hand back your article with blunt advice like, "How old are you?  A teenager?  Then write like it." or "Don't be so boring, use some variety or this is going to the example I hand out to next year's students as an example of how not to do it." And yes, he did have a collection of articles written by former students he used as negative examples. He didn't want us using obscure words like Brobdingnagian for big, but immense or overwhelming (depending on which shade of meaning is most appropriate in the context) are within the reading level of high school students and are more interesting and precise.

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Your journalism teacher was wrong. Said-bookism is a terrible habit to inflect on the next generation. But I suppose he did teach his students all to write like teenagers.

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I have never heard not to use "utilize" The noun form, utlization, is often used in business settings. 

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9 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

When it comes to being taught about using vocabulary, I had a high school journalism teacher who banned common words.  We weren't allowed to use good, bad, said, big, small, very, and the like.  He insisted very harshly that anyone using "grade school" vocabulary sounded like a preschooler chanting the sames word over and over.  There were lists of synonyms on the walls in the classroom for most commonly used words in news articles.  If you didn't get the message right away he would hand back your article with blunt advice like, "How old are you?  A teenager?  Then write like it." or "Don't be so boring, use some variety or this is going to the example I hand out to next year's students as an example of how not to do it." And yes, he did have a collection of articles written by former students he used as negative examples. He didn't want us using obscure words like Brobdingnagian for big, but immense or overwhelming (depending on which shade of meaning is most appropriate in the context) are within the reading level of high school students and are more interesting and precise.

 

3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Your journalism teacher was wrong. Said-bookism is a terrible habit to inflect on the next generation. But I suppose he did teach his students all to write like teenagers.

 

I think you guys are both correct. You don't want to restrict yourself to the vocabulary from a typical Dr. Seuss book because your listener/reader/whatever will die of boredom, but at the same time it's okay to use simple words, too. Most people choose a middle road between The Cat in the Hat and purple prose. 

Edited by Mergath

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:04 PM, DawnM said:

 

That has not been my experience in the South.  I live in the suburbs of a very large SE city and most people do use extensive vocabularies.  

 

 

Hey now. Look at you confusing everyone with your fancy SAT words. 😂

This is seriously the first time I've ever heard that some people frown on having a decent working vocabulary. 

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6 hours ago, Mergath said:

 

Hey now. Look at you confusing everyone with your fancy SAT words. 😂

This is seriously the first time I've ever heard that some people frown on having a decent working vocabulary. 

 

🤣

Yeah, it is the first time I have either.  Although I will admit that some of my mom's family has reminded me of a family right out of Hillbilly Elegy.  

And this past weekend I was at the beach with my girlfriends from high school.  We had a big conversation (and laugh) over remembering vocab words from our senior English teacher's class.  She was notorious for being a tough teacher, but she was single, and always threw in a word that could be a double entendre.  Our teen minds (of course) went straight to the gutter.  😜(words like titillate.)

She actually had a rather sad story.  She had a fiance in her youth and they got into a terrible car accident.  Her boyfriend died and she was left with no sense of smell or taste.  She lived single for most of her years, but finally did marry in her late 50s (may have been early 60s) to a widower.  

But I digress.  

 

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