SAT…What is the point of words?

The lugubrious lethargic sloth gluttonously engulfed my body with savory slurps. I then had a quotidian life of a man replaced by a phlegmatic arboreal mammal. My past life as an urbane aesthete was demolished. The sloth could not be exculpated! Our bodies were not concordant! My enmity for it brewed in his stomach; so discordant we were that the relationship grew rancorous! Soon, Slothy’s friends became solicitous, yet he simply moved with torpor.

A stomach ache is deleterious to Slothy’s health. However, Slothy’s friends could not be less vicarious, because his natural indolence made it seem less onerous… Surely, this is consummate high school SAT writing; its elegance is insurmountable—Am I even using these words right? Why study SAT words, or improve vocabulary? In the past month of studying, I’ve been lamenting that Orwell’s 1984 was not realized.

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At least then, our words would be far simpler. ‘Imprudent’ could simply be replaced with ‘stupid’. However, the problem with poor vocabulary is the ambiguity that it brings. Upon leaving a movie theatre last month, I saw a young boy clinging to his mom’s hand, his cheeks, eyes—heck, even his fingers—scarlet. He was bawling and causing her complexion to turn red as well, in embarrassment. She looked around frenziedly for some help: she could not understand what he was saying.

His explanation was a short chuckle-grunt-hiccup combined with wild waving gestures of his arm (the one that was not holding her hand). He seemed ready to throw an Olympic discus. Occasionally his language would clear up and one word would be audible: bad. This, of course, made everything clear as manure to the distraught mother. See, I learnt from this, that a lack of details is almost synonymous with a lack of vocabulary.

This means ambiguous communication that stresses everyone out. The most rewarding aspect of vocabulary is ‘le mot juste’, a famous phrase by Flaubert: “the right word”. Poor communication and vocabulary is that friend who when you text how he is doing, responds with a curt ‘well’. When you respond, you cannot appear arrogant, so you type, ‘great’, or something of similar profound meaning and depth. It also helps with reading comprehension. Let’s be honest.

English teachers will not abandon Leo Tolstoy anytime soon. However, the usefulness expands further than a college admissions test, simple conversation or English class. Yeah, that’s right. Flirting (conversation on steroids). If you ever decide to date an exceptionally smart woman who enjoys reading, you don’t want to have to pull out your phone to search up what ‘innocuous’ means. The whole point of vocabulary is communication, and poor communication is the signature cause of divorce or, even more often, that melodramatic break-up.

Next time, bring those flashcards to the gym. You probably won’t need to use ‘quotidian’ anytime soon, but if you understand it, you can be cool and respond to your smart friends’ texts without having to search an online dictionary, and can read literature with greater comprehension, and finally, make a stupid story sound totally awesome. XD