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Words That Make You [Sound] Intelligent

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by zac439, May 7, 2009.

  1. #1
    Who doesn't want to sound more intelligent?

    Here's a list ten that I use, feel free to add :p
    ______________________________________

    juxtaposition - To place two ideas side by side.
    The author used juxtaposition to contrast an idea of love with jealousy.


    debauchery - Immoral, corrupt, or indulgent.
    The church frowns against acts of debauchery.

    tantamount - Equivalent to an idea or object.
    In not replying to the RSVP, it was tantamount in saying that you couldn't make it to the wedding.

    plight - A predicament or danger.
    The work done by the soup kitchen seeks to solve the hunger plight of the homeless.

    inundate - To overwhelm
    Amazon.com wad inundated with calls around the Christmas season.

    clandestine - To do something in secret, perhaps with hidden aims.
    The clandestine acts of the Freemason Society are well guarded among members.

    facetious - Playful humor.
    I was being facetious when I mentioned that you look fat in that dress.

    conundrum - A riddle or difficult problem.
    The energy crisis conundrum has the attention of scientists all around the world.

    amorous - To display love or affection.
    The amorous atmosphere of the honeymoon was accented with rose petals and soft music.

    capitulate - To surrender or give up.
    The choice to capitulate was considered when I noticed my mother wouldn't let me leave the dinner table without eating the broccoli.
     
    zac439, May 7, 2009 IP
  2. CLK3

    CLK3 Banned

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    #2
    lol. just watch a late night infomercial on how Joe Shmoe got rich with google or ebay
     
    CLK3, May 7, 2009 IP
  3. snarke

    snarke Peon

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    #3
    Funny--I was just re-reading Stephen King's On Writing and he advises against choosing a "smarter" word than you would normally choose because it comes out sounding stilted and unnatural. Obviously in copywriting its all about what the client wants so that advice might not apply. :)
     
    snarke, May 7, 2009 IP
  4. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #4
    I disagree. Those words don't make you sound smarter - they make you sound arrogant. There's no reason to use these words in place of smaller, simpler words that do the trick just fine. (Unless the client for whatever reason demands it.)
     
    DeniseJ, May 7, 2009 IP
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  5. alexa_s

    alexa_s Peon

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    #5
    Your example is incorrect. Correct usage would be "tantamount to saying", not "tantamount in saying".

    Not at all: "clandestine" is an adjective, not a verb. It's not "to do anything". It simply means "concealed".

    Again, "amorous" is an adjective.
     
    alexa_s, May 7, 2009 IP
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  6. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #6
    I'm extremely smart and don't mind saying it. ;)

    However, I don't use "big words" on purpose. It's about comprehension. If your audience doesn't know what those words mean, all you've done is confuse them, which makes you look foolish for not knowing how to communicate.

    One of the most important lessons Journalism schools teach is to cut that BS out. Write to your audience and assume nothing. If you've made them "trip" over even one word, you've failed.

    Even when I'm writing a newsletter that's going to thousands of highly-successful doctors and millionaires, I don't do this.

    BTW, I don't want to "sound" more intelligent. I'm perfectly fine with "being" intelligent, even if I sound stupid. :D

    Like omg, mmkay, there's this like total loser wearing like last year's fashion. I'm mean, seriously mmkay. cmon lewzer. that is like ancient long time ago. 4 real. teh teh teh IT'S THE THE THE YOU FREAKING MORONS! :) :)
     
    marketjunction, May 7, 2009 IP
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  7. zac439

    zac439 Notable Member

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    #7
    Denise - I agree with you. But from what I can gather, this type of wordiness is common in press releases. I don't mind learning new words if it means others are using them.

    Alexa - You raise valid points. The first error was a mental typo on my part, the other two just came out wrong when I wrote that up. Simple mistake & thanks for correcting.

    marketjunction - :) Good to see you stranger. I appreciate your input. I'll agree that there are only reserved places you could use words like these, but when used correctly, you sure sound like you're an educated man! (Or woman)

    Yikes. No one likes big words around here. *whistles and leaves for the door*
     
    zac439, May 7, 2009 IP
  8. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #8
    It all depends on the context. Big words aren't "better" all the time, but it also isn't wrong or arrogant to use them if you can use them well. As with just about anything a writer does, it depends on your audience. "Plight" for example isn't something I would consider unusual in any way. Why? I used to work in the nonprofit sector, and they're always yapping about so and so's plight of one form or another - brings in the donations when you make something sound bad enough. I'm sure every example given in the OP could be highly effective in the right piece targeting the right audience. If you're writing for Average Joes, however, you would probably want to think twice about them.
     
    jhmattern, May 7, 2009 IP
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  9. zac439

    zac439 Notable Member

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    #9
    Jennifer Mattern - The most unbiased lady you will ever meet.

    Hehe :D

    Makes perfect sense Jen.
     
    zac439, May 7, 2009 IP
  10. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #10
    As you know, part of being a good writer is knowing what words to use at the right time for your specific audience.

    And for those that don't know, I like to play around with my posts and dialog. Thought I'd point that out since my previous post could be "read" a couple of ways. :)

    As the Joker said in Batman - The Dark Knight, "Why so serious?"

    Here's the YouTube clip from that movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQHfoz9Be7U
     
    marketjunction, May 7, 2009 IP
  11. enhu

    enhu Well-Known Member

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    #11
    These words will definitely make some of the people dumb.
    They'll probably hit me for boggling their mind.
    These are unfamiliar and they might just ask me "what made you think i understand what you're saying?"
     
    enhu, May 7, 2009 IP
  12. cd928

    cd928 Peon

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    #12
    OMG, I capitulate. Reading these terms is tantamount to a day in Gitmo. I am sorely inundated. Better go back to my acts of debauchery. Eeep. ;)

     
    cd928, May 7, 2009 IP
  13. alexa_s

    alexa_s Peon

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    #13
    Now you're talking: "eeep" is a seriously useful word, and in so many different contexts! :)
     
    alexa_s, May 8, 2009 IP
  14. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #14
    I would postulate that it unfailingly manifests in the written word when an amanuensis is immoderately dependent on appurtenances like their thesaurus.
     
    YMC, May 8, 2009 IP
  15. CODForum

    CODForum Guest

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    #15
    If one of my employees used those words with me, id thump em right after telling them how un-sophisticated they are
     
    CODForum, May 8, 2009 IP
  16. Gavenecko

    Gavenecko Member

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    #16
    I love those words no matter what anyone else says.
     
    Gavenecko, May 8, 2009 IP
  17. Morphineadaicted

    Morphineadaicted Peon

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    #17
    Yeah i really like those words..
     
    Morphineadaicted, May 9, 2009 IP
  18. Tranny

    Tranny Banned

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    #18
    My vocabulary is very simple, often revolving around the use of the same words. I call it the Ozzy Osbourne vocabulary... Shut the f&%k up you f%$king c*&t! Everybody understands that.
     
    Tranny, May 9, 2009 IP
  19. Gavenecko

    Gavenecko Member

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    #19
    But it also sounds rather unintelligent and rude.
     
    Gavenecko, May 9, 2009 IP
  20. Nandamuri

    Nandamuri Peon

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    #20
    Definitely your words sound damn interesting. BUt not catchy

    When I have tried some words of that sort, I got a comment that.....NOT TO USE A TOUGH LANGUAGE.....It looks bad
     
    Nandamuri, May 9, 2009 IP