Be honest, how often do you look up words to make sure you're using them 100% correctly?

Be honest, how often do you look up words to make sure you're using them 100% correctly? It seems like knowing the meaning of a word alone is not enough, since words relate to other words and if you're not careful the usage can come across as clunky. For example, you can say "let's parse the topic" and it's technically correct and valid but it doesn't sound right at all because of the specific contexts the word "parse" is used in.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Never, I don't use words I don't underatand how to use.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      That limits your options.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I continue acquiring words by looking up the ones I come across of which I am ignorant. Once I have seen it in use a few times the meaning is impressed and it will show up in my writing. I don't lift phrases from others and I don't pretend to be smarter than I am.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Never. Either you're illiterate or English isn't your first language. For your sake, I hope it's the latter. The only reason why you should be looking up words you already know is if you're trying to find interesting, niche ways to use them, or if you're reading an older work and the meaning of a certain word has changed significantly since it was written.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      It's like you ignored the second part of my post.

      "I know exactly what this word means, but this usage sounds off, because I have to actually think through the meaning of it and its relation to other words, but I'm better off not using it at all. "

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >I know exactly what this word means, but this usage sounds off, because I have to actually think through the meaning of it and its relation to other words
        If this happens to you, then you don't actually know what it means.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If every writer was aware of the shaky etymological foundations of everything, nothing would be written.

    Really, from what I've learned, language is more of a confidence thing. If you're the type of OCD person to obsess about particularities, then you would be more cautious with your word choice.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >shaky etymological foundations of everything
      This applies to some words but not all, and really there's nothing "shaky" about vibrant when it makes sense the word has evolved the word it has.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        *way it has

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I just wordulate. If you don't parse it that's your testicle knot.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      A perfectly cromulent post.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I have to look up words pretty regularly because I use academic jargon or archaic phrases fairly often, and someone will opine to say “it’s not a word” or “what does that mean”. It’s not something I do deliberately, even consciously, so I often have to stop and doublecheck I’m actually using words correctly. I have to turn off spell-check because it complains about proper words all the time.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >academic jargon
      Often the same word means different things across disciplines. Context is everything and dictionaries won't save you.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >how often
    inperdupendisly often

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Sometimes I do when I'm unsure of the meaning. Other times I have such mastery of thought and word that I use the word technically "incorrectly" but it works anyway because I force it to do what I want. Language exists prior to any description of it (how could you describe anything before the language exists?), if you truly internalize the language and unselfconsciously feel it like an extension of yourself, you guide its development, and dictionaries and grammarians will always be playing catch up to the living language as it moves.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Hey, same.

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    most dominating feature of e-readers is immediate definitions available for dumbasses like me

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I permit the words to freely spill out of my fingers. I find this sort of lackadaisy attitude– much to the contempt of the unseen stylist-grammarian–is quite liberating and alltogether wholesome.

    The reason parse sounds wrong is because nobody outside of academics and computer nerds uses parse in day-to-day parlance. In other words, it makes you sound like and out of touch quasi-intellectual or like an autistic weirdo

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      That is a good point, I tried to use "parse" in a poem but it just doesn't fit properly into it and called too much attention to itself as a technical term when the rest of the language is more poetic.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Unless you know exactly how "Lets parse the topic" comes across and you intend on saying it with that effect.

    I rarely look up words, only when I stumble upon a word that I can't meaningfully place in context.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Exactly, it's all about confidence. In normal conversation these sorts of potential errors are usually overlooked if you're making sense otherwise.

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you think of a word and it ends up being a good choice, who cares. Searching it up will help you remember it more, use it more, etc. It’s all benefits unless you’re insecure. Otherwise, start practicing with as many new words as possible everyday if you want to get good at it.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I make up, misuse, mispronounce and mangle words constantly.
    It's my language, call the cops I don't give a frick. It drives "educated" people up the wall, irreverence just an added bonus to blaspheming the semantic gods.

    I often conjoin the first half of one word with the second half of another without thinking, which generates a cascade of abbreviations. I speak foreign languages with my normal accent, and don't accept that this is pronouncing the foreign words wrong. It's my voice, my accent.

    Reject literacy, embrace self expression.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Once you realize that etymology is not taught to people in schools anymore it reframes everything.

    For instance, I bet most of you would use the terms Robot, Android, Cyborg interchangeably, even those they refer to varying degrees of humanity mixed with machine elements.

    I believe that the way to help with this is to do what certain visual novels do, and highlight certain words so that they can be explained separate from the story. Digital literature has the advantage of built-in reference and thesaurus which print cannot hope to achieve.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      It took you six minutes to write that? You act all cool about it, but your project is basically some academic version of AAVE. Equally stupid as well. Do it, but don’t claim to be doing something revolutionary. Also, I don’t know anyone that uses those words interchangeably. Regular people use robot and nerds use everything else

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's my first post in the thread, queer.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >bet most of you would use the terms Robot, Android, Cyborg interchangeably
      I'm ESL and had long scholarly discussions about the difference when I was 10. Dolph Lundgren is a cyborg, Data is an android and robots build cars.

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