"You've made an egregious error."
"An egregious error."
"What kind of error?"
"What does 'egregious' mean?"
"You know...something that's egregious."
"Yeah, but WHAT does it mean?"
"Something that's egregious is...you know. Look, if YOU don't know what it means, I'm not going to explain it."
"So, in other words, you don't know what it means?"
I have to admit - I enjoy doing this: calling people on it. Many people use words they have absolutely no clue what they mean. Oh, sure, they've heard the words plenty of times...and always in the context they use them -- and they are using them correctly, but they are merely "parroting" what they've heard. They honestly have never bothered to look the word up in the dictionary.
Personally, between you and me...I do it, too. Using "ten-dollar words" can be awfully impressive and downright convincing when, say, you're trying to get a lower rate on your telephone bill...or talking to your doctor...or trying to impress the stranger you met in passing...or speaking up to that guy in the office that just irks the hell out of you.
Using big words is like that animal making its hair stand on end to appear larger than they really are. Big words said by certain (not all) people make them appear smarter than they really are. But, just as a turkey displaying its feathers - strip away the feathers and what you've got left - well, is still a turkey.
I guess we all need to ruffle some feathers once in a while and appear larger than life. Words, are, after all...mightier than the sword...or at least they supposedly are when you write them down with a pen.
And good thing (at least for me) there's spell-check, too, as when I originally "penned" this blog, I spelled it "aggregious".
Sheesh...talk about an egregious error, right?
(Originally written, but never published, about two years ago.)