Power of Vocabulary

  • literary agility

“Vocabulary enables us to interpret and to express. If you have a limited vocabulary, you will also
have a limited vision and a limited future.” — Jim Rohn

If you notice so-called unsophisticated folks, they use the “F” word or “S” word in every sentence, and preferably multiple times. This is not limited to America. Every country and culture has its own slang.

A long time ago, in India, I got a chance to observe this closely. What I realized was that if you use slang it makes communication easier and you have to think less about what to say. When I thought slightly deeper about it, I realized that it handicaps your ability to express complex ideas. In other words, it erodes the precision of ideas and emotions you would like to express.

Take a look at the following examples:

I feel f***** up today.

I feel shitty today.

I feel depressed today.

I feel emotionally drained today.

I feel hangry.

The first two sentences do not carry much meaning except maybe about the social class you belong to. The third and fourth sentences are expressive in a simple way, though the precision can still be improved.

Hangry is a kind of slang, but I would call it anti-slang as it carries even more meaning than a single word. It means you are angry because you are hungry. Who knows, this portmanteau may become part of standard English one day.