"Never use a 5-dollar word when a 50-cent word will do." Mark Twain
I wanted to make sure that quote was accurate, because there are dozens of versions out there:
"Never use a 50-cent word when a 5-cent word will do."
"Never use a 75-cent word when a 5-cent word will do."
"Never use a 50-cent word when a 10-cent word will do."
etc. (Obviously this quote has been tweaked for inflation)
I had no idea how hard it would be to source that quote! When I typed "50 Cent" into Google, I got 145,000,000 hits on this guy named Curtis:
|Apparently, Curtis has a lot of quotes out there, too.|
Anyway, I decided to use the quote by Twain, and stick with $5 and 50¢. All of this background was merely to find a quote so I could tell you a quick story that isn't even that important. No, I am not on any medication this morning.
So- to the story - finally.
Yesterday my EC told me that my 4th grader (FOML5), was having some troubles with one of his friends. I wanted in on the discussion, so last night I tried to reinstigate the conversation.
I hear things aren't so good with your friend Jeff lately. What's going on?
He won't play with us any more at recess.
What's he doing?
He won't play with us, he will only play soccer with some other kids.
Why do you think?
Well, some of the kids are saying that he's becoming an egotist.
(At this point I am already suppressing a smile)
An egotist? Wow. That's a pretty big word.
Do you think he's an egotist?
I don't know. That's just what some people are saying.
Do you know what egotist means?
No. But it's bad.
Who started saying it?
Evan. And he's in AP English.
Oh, well that makes sense then. What do you think "egotist" means?
That he's mean and tough.
Have you ever heard the word "conceited?"
What about "stuck up."
That's what egotist means.
Oooooooh. (Light bulb goes on)
Now you wouldn't want people saying things like that about you, right?
So you and your friends really shouldn't be saying things about Jeff that are mean.
It wasn't me, it was Evan!
Well, even if Evan says them, you guys shouldn't repeat them.
Especially if you don't know what they mean.
Alright buddy. Thanks for talking.
Egotist? I know when I was 10 we used to stick with the 5¢ words. I decided to end the conversation at that, rather than get into a discussion about egotism - being that he is only 10, and only has a nascent cognizance of idiosyncratic narcissism.