One definition of idiot

Choose your words carefully or you may come across as an idiot.

Words are flung, overused, misused every day. In our house it is especially true with our 9-year-old who has a few favorites because he doesn’t like how something is NOT going his way. Idiot and stupid are the two that come to mind. Asking him repeatedly to NOT use the words, explaining that he is misusing the word or is not owning up to his end of the issue so he falls back on “those words” or “that word” hasn’t helped.

Last night I resorted to the typical 1970s classroom approach, “Write the definition of the word 20 times…” He balked at not being able to “look it up” online and had to use a “stupid dictionary that NO ONE uses anymore…” He wasn’t in the mood to hear that the held, thick dictionaries are still quite popular among the “older folks.” He negotiated with his dad (softy) – not me – and wrote one definition of idiot once after crumpling the paper and spewing loud growls the unfairness of the entire exercise. We asked if he knew anyone fitting this definition. He conceded that he did not. 

When we are in business and speaking or writing, we can get stuck on a phrase or word or quoting something that may not be true once the facts are checked. Just because it’s an infographic doesn’t make it true. What are the sources? And to repeat a word because you are fond of how it sounds over and over can lead to overuse and misuse. Take the time, expand your vocabulary to include some headsnap-inducing words.

I highly recommend that you subscribe to the free newsletter from ProofreadNOW.com – they always have fun quizzes, correct misuses, clear up confusion.

*next offence, he WILL write BOTH definitions for this word 10 times.

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