Initially, the grammar geek in me tips my cap to anyone wanting to expand their vocabulary horizon. We’re constantly expanding our dictionary; why not keep up with the Literary Joneses?
I have mixed feeling about those who adopt a “Learn a New Word Every Day” New Year’s Resolution.
I’m skeptical, however, of how this will impact an organization professionally. Just because a writer knows a bigger, fancier word doesn’t make it any more accessible to the public.
In the 7th grade, the last sentence of my science fair thesis was “I intend to acknowledge that enigma.” True story. And yes, this was the same year I’d discovered the thesaurus. All I’d meant to convey was something to the effect of, “I’m gonna tackle that problem.” But instead, I wanted to acknowledge that enigma.
It’s great if you want to learn new words. Vocabulary is part of a beautiful culture that advances human beings’ sophistication and education. Just be careful of how you put these words into practice in the workplace. Don’t acknowledge the enigmas. Tackle your problems by making your communications and intentions clearer. Wouldn’t that be a better New Year’s Resolution?