Who’s Afraid of Big Words? by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley  Grogg

When trying to express oneself, it’s frankly quite absurd,
To leaf through lengthy lexicons to find the perfect word.
A little spontaneity keeps conversation keen,
You need to find a way to say, precisely what you mean…

Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious!
If you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound precocious,



When writing you have to think about your readers. I used bigger words in “Stamp Out Murder” than I did in “The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk”.  I used a few challenging words that could be figured out by the context in which they were used in both books.

I’ve read some books that I have to keep a dictionary close by and it’s not that enjoyable for me and I’ve heard other people complain when a book has too many “big words”.

So what makes a word “big”? Of course, it depends on who’s doing the reading. Readability studies have been done and it’s been found that most readers, read at a 7.8-grade level.

Some words were invented or coined during the process of writing a novel. One of the words is:  

Serendipity. Horace Walpole author of the first Gothic novel coined the word “serendipity” in the 18th century. It means the “faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident.” He coined the word in a letter of 1754 when recounting the “silly fairy tale” (“fairy tale” is another term he is credited with inventing) of “The Three Princes of Serendip” (Serendip being a former name for Sri Lanka). We have written about Walpole previously, and in more detail, here.

To find more of these words check out this site: 20 Essential Words we got from Literature.



The second Friday in March is National Day of Unplugging.  This holiday consists of a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.

Since you are here perhaps you should use:

National Get Over It Day - March 9

Just as it sounds. Use this day to “Get Over It”, whatever it is, and you can share this on your media sites.

Back to Words (Just for Fun)

The braggart got in a grueling brawl with the flagrant, capricious bigot concerning the statement of a deceased politician.  Using some vocabulary words from a page listing 7th grade words I made up the above sentence. Now you use this 7th grade vocabulary list to construct a sentence.

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

    Image may contain: 2 people   please join me on my Facebook Fanpage that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE 

 Song source: Mary Poppins song   


16 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of Big Words? by Cher’ley

  1. I rarely use a dictionary when I read. I decide what a word means by its context. Just laziness. Later, when I want to use it, I look it up to make sure I’m right. I’m usually in the ballpark.

    Now I’ll be singing that song all day. Yesterday it was “Bringing in the Sheaves.” I have no idea why.

    A capricious politician’s brawl with a flagrant braggart ended in the decease of both, followed by outrageous statements made in grueling sermons at the funerals of both the aforementioned. / I made minor alterations in of some words and added a few as well. I hope that’s acceptable. If it’s not, get over it.


  2. Thanks for the video. Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, and this brought back memories. In my writing, I prefer to use words most readers will understand. It’s no fun reading a book when you have to stop and look up a word, and in my opinion, people aren’t as likely to buy a book by an author who uses a lot of unfamiliar words.


  3. When I was doing my stint as a weekly newspaper reporter just before retiring, I interviewed a junior high book club studying a fantasy book as an effort to make reading enjoyable for kids who did little reading. When they ran across a bigger word that had trouble pronouncing and understanding, the adviser would have them debate the meaning, and usually they could figure it out via context.


  4. Interesting. I don’t mind one or two words I have to look up, but sometimes never get them looked up. I try to remember my audience age/ability level when writing, and also, make it easy as that is the trend whether reading or working now I think. Great blog Cher’ley.


  5. A former member of a writing group I attended use to make up words, large words. It really detracted from the story. Large words scattered a few places in a book don’t distract me from the story unless they are prolific. To many of them simply makes me loose interest.


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