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where i work

ok so this morning at yet another interminable "team" meeting, i used the word "obstreperous" to describe some of the students.  at that moment, all five pairs of eyes turned towards me as though i'd broken into greek or sumerian and, nearly as one, chimed, "hey there...words" or "this is middle school."  

there are no eyes big enough to roll largely enough.  none.  

this is where i work.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 15th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
*head desk*

I believe I've seen that look on people's faces before. *chuckles, shaking head* Years ago, I worked at a salon as a receptionist. One day I was chatting with one of the nail techs and ... I honestly don't recall what word I used but I know it started with an E. Like, 'eerie' or 'enigmatic' or something of the like. And she looked at me so strangely and laughed and said, "You know, you could have just said [simpler word to replace whatever word I did use]. You are so weird."

Apparently I'm weird for having a decently-sized vocabulary. *eye roll*

I wish I could remember what word it was I used that she balked at. I remember being surprised that she made such a fuss because I didn't think the word was that big of a deal. But the main thing is, I wasn't saying it to be pretentious; I was saying it because I happened to like the word, and because it had been a part of my regular vocabulary for years so it felt natural for me to say it.

Regardless, I'd never admonish someone for using a word that was beyond my usual vocabulary. In fact, I'm more likely to give them an eyebrow raise and say, 'Wow, excellent word choice. Niiice.' *GRIN*

Reminds me of an amusing exchange from The West Wing, regarding a difference of opinion on a particular word choice used in the speech about to be given by the President:

DOUG: (reading) ..."to fall victim to torpor and timidity." "Torpor"... is not a word a lot of people know.
SAM: It means apathy.
TOBY: And dullness.
DOUG: I know what it means.
CONNIE: Doug means...
DOUG: They know what I mean.
CJ: (entering the room) Hey.
DOUG: If they don't know what the word means...
CJ: What's the word?
JOSH: "Torpor."
CJ: It means apathy.
TOBY: And dullness.
DOUG: (louder, more exasperated) I know what the word means. I'm saying if people don't know what the word means...
PRESIDENT BARTLET: (entering the room briskly) They can look it up!
EVERYONE: (standing at attention) Good morning, Mr. President.
BARTLET: It's not our job to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Doug. It's our job to raise it. If you're going to be the "Education President," it'd be nice not to hide that you have an education.

That last quote from Bartlet is something that has stuck with me ever since seeing that episode.


P.S. "Obstreperous"? Most excellent word. Nicely done. *GRIN*
Oct. 15th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
yup we're weird.
oh thanks for the commiseration, sherry. i really think this year is going to be a book. i just have to start writing it!

you know what? i too worked as a receptionist for a hair salon. and i always watched how or what i said after my boss mentioned that i sometimes was hard to understand (or words to that effect). sigh. my mom had a similar thing happen with a boss as a medical social worker! even graduate degrees don't protect us!

btw love the west wing stuff...now i will have to start re-watching that show. it was so brilliant. thanks for reminding me!

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