Monday, October 09, 2006

Big Words

Look in the sidebar and you will see my “Guilty Pleasures” link to Blogging Project Runway. I confess I am addicted to the show that gave birth to this blog.

Last week there was a reunion episode. You know, the kind where they manipulate you into loving or hating the final four, so that when the results come in next week, you feel some kind of partisan loyalty. There were a number of compilations of film clips designed to throw light on the characteristics of various participants. They certainly helped fill up the hour—well, you can’t spend all of the sixty-minute show zooming in on Heidi Klum’s newly found cleavage. We saw Laura describing just about everything as “serious ugly” and Brad clucking away most endearingly. The vignette on Tim Gunn was illustrative of the fact that he uses “big words”.

There was something about this segment that made me feel uneasy. A Gary H. put it into words in a comment he made (sic):

I find it peculiar and very telling that tim’s rich vocabulary warrants a segment on TV—is it that unusual to see and hear an educated and articulate person these days? are we all dumbed down? the only phrase tim used that i haven’t in normal conversation was the arcane something or other about wood. wheeh. not heard that one before in all my 58 years on earth, can’t wait to use it now, however once i look it up.
. . .

Tim may use such words as caucus in an unusual way, but to see them have to relate the dictionary term for the masses just goes to show how sad it is that most people have such a limited vocabulary.

He has a point (along with a somewhat tenuous grasp of grammar.) Why should we smile benignly at an atrocious Beckhamism , yet poke fun at Tim Gunn.

I for one do not intend to use the phrase “faux bois” anytime soon.

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