“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.”
-Sir Winston Churchill
Having suffered at mouths of overly verbose lecturers who seem to believe the information will sink in more effectively if the words are large, obscure and all delivered at a similar frequency, I have been confused by other’s use of language and do not like to inflict the same abuse upon people. I consider myself to have a relatively large vocabulary but I’ve found that the right word is more often than not one of about five hundred or so that cover the majority of needs
I teach first aid. I’ve found that in every single instance “High Blood Sugar” is more memorable than “Hypoglycemia”, “grinding popping bone sounds” more descriptive than “Crepitus” (though I do love that word), and “Can’t Breathe” more immediately understandable than “Asphyxiation”. Some of my smarter students have worked out that every instance of medical jargon in my course is an indicator that it will be in the exam. I wouldn’t use it at all if not for that…. Except “crepitus” though. That word is cool.