Somehow, we start out as babbling babies who can barely say “mama” and end up as articulate adults who toss around words like “enunciate.”
But no matter how proud we are of our ever-growing vocabulary, sometimes expressing certain words in everyday conversation can make us really uncomfortable. Whether we're worried about butchering the pronunciation, sounding pretentious, using a term incorrectly, or bumbling too many syllables, we hesitate to say the word aloud.
Here is a collection of some of the most common words we feel self-conscious about using in everyday language,
- 19 VOTES
Definition: “Characterized by happiness, great success, and prosperity: golden. Often used to describe an idyllic time in the past that is remembered as better than today.”
Use in a sentence: He recalled the halcyon days of his youth.
Why it makes us self-conscious: Describing a golden era from the past makes us sound as old and rusty as the yesteryear we're referring to.
- Photo: The Simpsons / Fox217 VOTES
Definition: “Enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.”
Use in a sentence: Some viewers of reality TV shows feel a deep sense of schadenfreude watching contestants lose.
Why it makes us self-conscious: Schadenfreude is not a kind sentiment, so despite our “enjoyment,” at heart we're probably feeling a little guilty.
- Photo: The Office / NBC317 VOTES
- Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros.423 VOTES
Definition: “Having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying: possessing or displaying erudition.”
Pronunciation: AIR-uh-dite or AIR-yuh-dite
Use in a sentence: Hermione Granger is intelligent, but sometimes comes across as a bit pompous or erudite.
Why it makes us self-conscious: Anyone who uses the word “erudite” is going to come across as “erudite.”