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Do you change your "language" for someone who is not as literate?

(18 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Fri 01-Apr-05 22:11:04

If you entered into a conversation with someone who clearly dosent use "big words" would you continue to use them and hope they understood what they meant, or would you grope for a word they would understand better and risk patronising them?

Parents of a boy in my area are the "brightest" of the bunch (nor am i for that matter) but i was talking to them about general childrearing and doing the usual note comparing. I recounted i book i am reading at the moment and said it was "indicative" of some such or other. I knew straight away by the look on their faces, they thought i was being "snooty". Argh.

debs26 Fri 01-Apr-05 22:13:04

definately change language. i was talking about a book with someone and used the word text. she asked me if it had something to do with a mobile phone. really!

pixiefish Fri 01-Apr-05 22:13:50

Yes I do. But then again I teach so have to change register/ tone and vocab from one 50 minute lesson to the next. Something I tend to do without thinking about. Also do it at home with friends

mamadadawahwah Fri 01-Apr-05 22:15:13

I was watching a game show out of boredom last saturday night ( i think it was the lotto show) the woman was asked how many people were at the last supper. She said 40. I dont know, i havent read the bible in its entirety either, but people's general knowledge and literacy is grossly affected today by not reading books. They are losing language. ( i should talk, having watched such crap on tv as i have)

Mud Fri 01-Apr-05 22:15:20

yes I do but I also think its sad that people can think a good vocabulary is being 'snooty' - says more about them than it does about you

starlover Fri 01-Apr-05 22:20:11

Totally agree Mud!
I have to say I am well read, have ALWAYS loved books, and as such I think I have a pretty good vocabulary.
And I cannot stand it when I am talking with someone and they come out with "oooh, long words"... or some such crap! As if you're not allowed to use long words!!!

I have a friend who isn't less literate per se... she just doesn't have the biggest vocabulary in the world, but she knows that and is fine with it. I often have to sit and explain what words mean to her! But we have a good laugh over it and hopefully she remembers some of them!

starlover Fri 01-Apr-05 22:21:04

btw... was the answer 13? jesus and the 12 disciples?

I actually haven't read it either, but I wanna know the answer!

trefusis Fri 01-Apr-05 22:21:57

Message withdrawn

Mud Fri 01-Apr-05 22:21:57

yes its 13 - which is why 13 is an unlucky number to christians

Branster Fri 01-Apr-05 22:22:36

no. if they don't undersatnd they should look it up or ask me what it means!

trefusis Fri 01-Apr-05 22:22:58

Message withdrawn

starlover Fri 01-Apr-05 22:23:19

really Mud? I never knew that!

starlover Fri 01-Apr-05 22:24:55

I agree with that too Branster!

starlover Fri 01-Apr-05 22:25:37

If you use "big words" and people don't know what they mean, then they might just go home and look it up.
So you're doing them a favour really!

hunkermunker Fri 01-Apr-05 22:44:39

I don't use big words. I use diminutive ones.

JoolsToo Fri 01-Apr-05 22:45:09

I do not do it ....

handlemecarefully Fri 01-Apr-05 22:45:37

I don't consciously change my terminology...but perhaps unwittingly I do??

Tend to agree that it's their problem not mine if they don't understand every word, since I am not a walking thesaurus and my vocablory isn't hugely challenging.

Also people should be able to understand what you are saying from the context, even if they don't get every word

handlemecarefully Fri 01-Apr-05 22:46:28

Very clever Joolstoo!

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