Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quaternary TT: 13 Words Certain Individuals Think You're Too Stupid To Hear


I've been seething (v. to be in an agitated emotional state) all day about the great lexicon debate. Below are 13 examples in alphabetical order from the America article (discussed here) and the Globe and Mail article (discussed here) of words that Bishop Trautman and Professor Beck think you're too stupid to hear used. Some are a bit more obscure (adj. not easily understood) than others, but they all strike me as reasonable to utilize (v. to put into service) in the context (n. setting) of a classroom lesson or a church service:

1. betwixt- adv. between
2. gibbet- n. gallows
3. incarnate- adj. existing in bodily form
4. ineffably- adv. indescribably
5. inviolate- adj. virginal
6. nefarious- adj. extremely wicked
7. prefiguring- v. imagining beforehand
8. suffused- v. to become overspread as with a fluid or light
9. sullied- v. made dirty
10. thwart- v. to prevent
11. unfeigned- adj. genuine
12. unvanquished- adj. unbeaten
13. wrought- adj. shaped

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Toni said...

Great list and great idea for a T13! Mine us up!
Air Force Wife

pussreboots said...

I've missed the debate but except for #2, those are all words I use on a regular basis. Happy TT.

Sue said...

Wow! I use most of these words regularly! Happy TT!

Alasandra said...

#7. prefiguring- v. imagining beforehand was the only one my 16 year old son didn't know. And he came up with a reasonable guess.

before figuring something out.

Ed said...

Sometimes I wonder if the people who judge us even know who we are. I can appreciate your pique.

maiylah said...

have to agree with ed (above). :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Thank goodness I missed THAT debate! I'd be seething right along with you. How about we 'smart things up' to challenge people instead of always dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator?! (now I'm riled!)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

To be honest, I use some of those words regularly! And then people who meet my kids are amazed by their huge vocabularies, too. Go figure.

Happy TT!

Anonymous said...

I've missed the debate, too, but if I understand it correctly, what a bunch of baloney for anyone to say are over our heads. Those words are perfectly reasonable and useable, and I've used them myself from time to time. Actually, I'm quite fond of most of them!

Fascinating TT, and thank you for visiting my blog!

Anonymous said...

I've missed that debate, too, but that's utterly ridiculous for anybody to think those words are somehow "above" anyone's understanding. They are all perfectly usable, reasonable words, and I'm quite fond of most of them.

Happy TT, and thanks for visiting my blog!

Anonymous said...

Great words! I think I need to floss after trying to say them all!

Happy TT!

sasha said...

These words are commonly used. I use them fairly regularly :)

Happy T13!

Mine's up at

palmtreefanatic said...

this is a good one! happy TT!

tommiea said...

makes you wonder what they think....

I did my 7th TT!

Nicholas said...

I use all of these to a greater or lesser extent, though I sledom have casue to talk about gibbets. However I never ever use "utilize"; I use "use".

Robin said...

No idea what the great debate is all about (it's apparently not raging in Tel Aviv), but those seem like some pretty reasonable words to me.

Fence said...

Nefarious is a great word. It just rolls off the tongue, it'll be a sad day when it dies.

Happy T13

Jane said...

Great post. Unfortunately, I think the reason it is thought that 'we' are too stupid to understand these words is because our government schools are not teaching vocabulary.
It is a very sad state of affairs for the youth of this country.
Thank you so much for stopping by my T13.

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

What a wonderful list! I love those words. I'm sorry I missed the debate.

MommyBa said...

I'm gonna use these words for my siblings word book activities. :) Some of them I've only heard of today.

I have bookmarked your site for future homeschooling references. I'm doing an extensive research on this since I'm planning to homeschool my little guy and my 3 siblings.

Thanks for sharing your list :) Happy Thursday dear!

Darla said...

ARGH! Dumbing-down language is one of my pet peeves. How are people supposed to learn these more complex words if they're not exposed to them?

BTW, none of those words was unfamiliar.

busy91 said...

It is sad. I notice when I speak to certain people, I have to dumb down my vocabulary, mainly because I don't feel like explaining what a word means. I guess it is a good thing to have synonyms ready for these instances, but still. Great TT!

Lori said...

LMAO....thanks for the laugh.

Mama Duck said...

Yes, they do all seem like ordinary words to me, how odd. Happy TT!

Shannon Miller said...

As a word fanatic-I thought this was a GREAT TT!!! Loved it, thanks for putting it up. How about thirteen things to love about the Red Sox next time? ;)

Dewey said...

I would be seething, too! Those words are not uncommon, and if they are ove some people's heads, I'm sure those people know how to use a dictionary. Where do you draw the line? Every word is going to be too challenging to for someone; illiterate people will have trouble with "the."

samulli said...

Well, I'm not familiar with the above linked discussion (and to be honest, I am too lazy now to follow the links), but hell, even I know most of these words - and I'm a bloody german. So english isn't even my first language.
Incidentally some of those words I heard first on tv-shows like Firefly. That kinda tells me this bishop and this professor don't really know much of the real world, up in their ivory towers. Hm, maybe I should read those articles after all. Might be good for a laugh if nothing else. LOL

JennieBoo said...

I know a large majority of those words. I loved your "rant" as well!

Happy TT!

Liked your list!

JennieBoo said...

I use most of those words alot of the time.

I loved your "Rant", too!

Happy TT!

Liked your list!

pjd said...

Although I can't say I use these words daily, and I had to dig in memory to recover definitions for a few (before reading the ones you provided), I agree with your point: People who think the masses are too stupid to understand big words or big concepts are, by definition, in the business of dumbing down the masses. In this case, it's probably just egotistical elitism, but the way to consolidate power over the people is to make the people as ignorant as possible.

Danielle said...

1.betwixt- adv. between
3. incarnate- adj. existing in bodily form
7. prefiguring- v. imagining beforehand
8. suffused- v. to become overspread as with a fluid or light
9. sullied- v. made dirty
10. thwart- v. to prevent
11. unfeigned- adj. genuine
13. wrought- adj. shaped

This makes me volatile. I know and use the above. Thwart, come on!!!
Did they give this list to the Media Conglomerates and inform them not to use these words. Our language is evolving, all do but for the most part media, all media forms have dumbed down America. Use these words in conversation, in writing, define them and they will be used more. If that is not done than they will vanish.

Hootin'Anni said...

#7?!! That one is new to me. A great list. Very interesting indeed.

Thanks for the visit.

Amelia June said...

Great, because dumbing things down really helps people understand.

Yikes! Shoot I've worked with drug addicts in the past and I refused to dumb down my talks--if nothing else, they learned how to be humble and ask questions, and also learned a new word now and then.

Bah. Plus I love the word wrought.

Just.Me said...

I love the word nefarious. Can't say I often use it, but starting today, I will make a concerted effort to use it weekly!

Tink said...

I know and use some of them already and I'm a non-native in English!
Thanks for the picture frame tip on my random TT. Handfasting is a pagan wedding. I added a link to read more.

Sanni said...

That´s an unvanquised list! ;)
Excellent choice for a TT. We missed this discussion in Germany - but I´ll read it now.

Have a great weekend!