“You talk to your kids like that?” asked a friend who overheard a conversation I was having with my then 5-year-old son.
I wasn’t bad-mouthing him or saying anything critical. I spoke to him as I would speak to anyone—using the words I would normally use. My friend was baffled, because I didn’t simplify my vocabulary to “speak at his level.”
That’s when I realized that I really had become my parents. Though I felt differently then, today I have a fond appreciation for my parents’ commitment to expand my vocabulary, even when that meant spending summers looking up 10 new words a week and assiduously using them until the next batch of words came up the following week. But I digress …
A vivid vocabulary makes you stand out.
Rather than come across as banal or humdrum, you’re interesting and thought-provoking. People’s ears perk up. They lean in. Curiosity unexpectedly takes over and they want to know more. You’re like hot coffee getting thrown in the face—in a good way (if that’s possible).