Words That We Don’t Use Anymore

October 22, 2009


There are a lot of words that we don’t use anymore.  It isn’t because they  don’t convey their meaning well or suddenly have become useless.  Can you imagine?  I can see the scenario now: OMIGOSH, yesterday this word really meant something.  Then I wake up and POOF! It’s useless… (can that happen?).    I think it’s because our communication skills are changing to a cryptic and abbreviated version of what we have developed and used over centuries.   Think text messaging…

At work we have a little room between the community space and our office and kitchen.  This little room is the entry way to the office and kitchen but because it’s in between useful spaces, a transitional space if you will, that would be a confusing way to speak about it.  I always call it the vestibule.  No one seems to know what this means.   I don’t think that anyone would know what I was talking about if I started referring to it as the antechamber either, but it is one.

The ornate vestibule of Ralston Hall at Notre Dame de Namur University

The ornate vestibule of Ralston Hall at Notre Dame de Namur University

Because people are often confused when I use the term vestibule I have to expand on it by saying “the little room outside of the office and kitchen”.  Think how many more words that is!  If only I could convey the location with just one word that everyone understood: think of how much time I would save!   At least I would save the time of their pause of confusion, the time it takes me to figure out they don’t know what I mean and then the time it takes to utter 8 or 9 more words.  See how complicated communication can be?

Even when we have ways to simplify communication we often don’t use them.  Consider the turn signal on a car.  How simple it is to communicate where you plan to go, yes?  How often do people neglect to do use it?   One would think that someone wishes to keep it a secret but I always think HELLLLOOOOO?  You’re driving a honking 2 ton hunk of metal, plastic and glass: we can see you!

So today, try to communicate a little more then usual.  Use a word that you don’t hear very often just for the fun of it.  And don’t forget: use that turn signal!  Someone will appreciate it.

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One Response to “Words That We Don’t Use Anymore”

  1. meredith11 said

    Hilariously I dreamed about using the word vestibule last night. Someone else was using the word, teaching it to a group of people, sort of like they discovered it, not knowing that I was in the room. It was an awkward moment when they realized that I was right there. It was odd. Kind of like the word vestibule!

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