For the love of words

I like words.

I used to be able to easily expand my vocabulary, learning a new word every week and using it as often as I could so it would become a habit. Now, I can only learn approximately one word per month unless it’s one that is extremely memorable, because PTSD has practically fried my brain.

A lot of people seem to think PTSD sufferers have so much control over their brain, but the posts and stories I’ve read by many PTSD sufferers don’t have much control over their brains and what their brains do, and their memory isn’t as great as it once was. This is how I feel, and it sucks.

I remember when I learned the word “adequate” in middle school: it was in the story we were reading, and it stuck with me. It means “good enough”, and I found it so intriguing, because this one word could be used to describe two words, and who wouldn’t want that? I don’t really like “good enough”, either, because it’s too frequently used, and perhaps that’s why I dislike it when people feel sorry for me or apologize for things they can’t control… “sorry” is overused. I’m not going to apologize for something I can’t control. (But that might be my Aspie brain talking.)

My latest favorite words are equanimity, clowder, immix, iwis, hebdomadal, flapdoodle, rejectamenta, palabra, desiderium, mot juste, hypocorism, and hemidemisemiquaver.

But because of my PTSD messing with my memory and my aspiness, I don’t always use words properly. Words and vocabulary used to be my thing — an enhanced vocabulary can give the illusion that one is smarter than they actually are. I know this, because for some reason, people think and believe and claim I’m nearly a genius. Truth is, I barely passed science, English was easy ’cause SparkNotes and the use of Rhyme Zone’s thesaurus, social studies/related classes were actually really annoying due to my inability to learn from reading a fucking textbook and being quizzed/tested/etc. on it, maths was an escape/a special interest, and my electives were also special interests and/or fly-by classes.

I don’t really care for topics outside my special interests. They bore and exhaust me, and I’d much rather be doing one of my special interests than a non-special interest.

But words are pretty, and people claim face-to-face and in-person, verbalized communication is necessary to get points across, but that’s too black and white. With adequate diction, one can easily get a point across using text-based communication, and if this wasn’t true, blogs wouldn’t exist, or they at least wouldn’t ever be successful.

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Comments on this post

Agent Q’s gravatar

Your list of favorite words motivates me to learn more words so that I could feel like an adequate individual. See what I did there? ^^ In other words, I should look them up and understand them.

In all seriousness, words are pretty useful. While inside my head I can still pull concepts out of thin air, I cannot seem to share them as well as I would like to others, thereby making it seem like I have nothing to contribute. Words are useful, but they can also create a false impression of one’s intellect for that reason as well. Seems like we’re on the same page in that regard. I suppose I should learn more from how other people express themselves so that I can improve my communication skills.

Crystal’s gravatar

This makes me wonder if it’s possible that many if not all mental disabilities can cause this.

I can empathize greatly, because I had dreams of getting into law when I was young, and with my 4.0 gpa I could grasp it. Now though, it’s difficult just getting myself somewhere on the bus. I feel like I can communicate wonderfully when writing, but when I have to talk to someone, I feel all jumbled, and sound dumb. o.O I have bipolar though, so not the same thing. Still, it’s no fun. It’s like an artist who has arthritis (I know one). It sucks.

*hug* /cookie

Chester’s gravatar

My way of learning new words is through books. Everytime I get the chance to sit down and read a book, I highlight a few words that are unfamiliar and take them down. Surely, it was effective. /cookie

Kya’s gravatar

I like words, but I am terrible at communication in person and I get nervous so I avoid speaking. /zzz

Some people think I am smart, but it’s only really with the things that I like. I had a lot of trouble in school, and it took me longer to try and understand things and I had to do them in different ways so I could relate to what I was doing (like reading coursework in different voices, haha).

I would like to learn more, but my memory has been terrible lately. D;

Susanne’s gravatar

It’s interesting how we interpret words differently. Like the concept “I’m sorry”. Isn’t it that it’s both an apology and something you say when you want to express that you are sad about that someone is sick or is having a hard time/whatever? I often say “I’m sorry” or “I’m sorry to hear that” or something like that, if a friend has problems, as to say that I’m sad for them, not as an apology. Maybe that is wrong, I’m probably not great at those nuances in the English language.
By the way, reading a textbook and being tested on it sucks. It’s such a bad way to teach. People don’t learn anything from it, at least not long-term.