After coming across this article on Daily Writing Tips about a particular online vocabulary test I had to take it. I’ve never taken a vocabulary test before so was curious to see how I’d go. You can find the test here and take it yourself if you like.
I don’t consider myself a language sponge, and there are plenty of times where I come across words I don’t know in books and lazy-old-me just skips over them. I can gauge the feel of the word without knowing its definition, and that’s enough for me.
So as I was checking the boxes and leaving plenty blank, I started to think that maybe my vocabulary score might not be that great. Turns out I’m pretty average (Daily Writing Tips have mentioned that it’s ‘bad form to reveal your score’, so I won’t).
But I realised that I wasn’t all that anxious about it. So what if I couldn’t exactly boast about it? It didn’t mean I was a bad writer or anything.
My writing does not depend on big words and complex definitions that the majority of people wouldn’t know anyway. Who needs ‘tatterdemalion’ or ‘imbroglio’? Not me. And plenty of other amazing writers can convey something special without fancy words too.
William Carlos Williams and the red wheelbarrow come to mind.