Monday, March 31, 2014

Vocabularious Circumstances

Last week, I was leaving school and I saw our chaplain as I was walking to my car. I gave him the usual: "Have a good weekend, Father."

Just as I said that, I wondered what would happen if word frequency counters were attached to people. We all must, by varying professions and life circumstances, use certain words with more frequency than others do.

"Father," for instance. Most people have fathers, but even out of those people, a great number rarely use the word "father." They might use "dad" or "pop" or whatever else. But, as a guy who works in a Catholic school, (and who went all of his life to public school and, therefore, still feels a need for formality when talking to priests -- a need that seems, ironically, much less urgent in those I know who went to Catholic school) I must use the world "father" with exceedingly more frequency than most people.

Or what about the word "note"? As a musician, I am sure I use the word more than most, but I wonder what the percentage of difference is... We all have passed "notes" and we all write "notes" to coworkers about things and we all have used the word "note" in reference to music, but I wonder to what degree my use of the word exceeds that of others after years of playing, composing, taking lessons, giving lessons, etc...

Well, I'll just sit back and wait for the direct-to-brain computers to come out. Once we all have ports in our heads, I'm sure we will be able to track this kind of thing with relative ease. Which would be totally worth it.

What word do you think you use more than anyone on the planet?


  1. Perhaps the word I use more than anyone on the planet is "sorry".

    1. That's either a wonderful trait or one that says you're being too hard on yourself -- but so many people bypass saying they are sorry that it doesn't necessarily mean you are.