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Comet Nwosu: The Inconspicuous Reasoning Backing Your Use of Lexicon

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Certain words we use have their literal meanings and modes of expression. But they also have what I call their behind-the-scenes meanings —  those kinds that portray something else other than what’s been said —  either deeper in meaning or shallow.

I’m a ‘words girl’. So it’s easy to read (not judge) people through their use of words and understand the psychology of things or the information they are hoping to give as they express themselves through it. This ability has enabled me to come up with several points backing some of the behind-the-scenes reasoning for your use of lexicons.

Majority of these ideas emanated from a personal place, but reading more on effective communication helped me to expantiate on the different angles effective communication can be achieved using our own words and voice. They are:

Your lexicon defines you

The type of words you use in expressing or communicating to other people shows the type of person you are – gentle or rough, intelligent or unintelligent, educated or uneducated. For instance, when you use curse words a lot in many of your sentences, it’s a sign of a rather brash upbringing. The type where there was less or lack of protective/corrective mechanisms to put you in check each time you needed it.

But using gentler means of expressing yourself might mean that you were well taught, whether by self or by society, on what good etiquette means and its importance in social relations. We’re talking about words like ‘please’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘thank you’  for starters. There are other words such as ‘excuse me’, and other excusatory words like ‘may I’, ‘if I may speak’, ‘can you’, ‘permit me to’, and so on.

These two circumstances above can, of course, be contrariwise – someone who utilises gentler lexicons can come from a place of little or no proper home training, or less/no protective or corrective mechanisms, and vice-versa.

The meaning of a set lexicon for different category of people

Somebody who uses harsher words in expression might depict an easily triggered person, low self-confident person, or even low self-esteem. And somebody who uses lots of excusatory words – unnecessary use of words like sorry and please, for instance – might not necessarily be a gentle person but may have low self esteem, is afraid to be themselves and pleases people a lot. These words confuse people a lot in their usage. Some people think using please when they aren’t asking for a favour is warranted because it shows they’re being polite and this is false. Whereas people who use the word “sorry” instead of or including other excusatory words are simply lacking in their self-esteem. For instance, expressions like “sorry, please can you excuse me?” Or “sorry, can you show me the way to do that?” shows a lack of vigour and tells of a passive rather than an assertive person. In these cases, sorry and please are not warranted, as polite and gentle in nature as they may seem.

The use of specific words

Specific words are direct. When you tailor down your words in expression, it connotes that you’re the straightforward type of person; the one who hits the nail on the head and isn’t cut out for hyperboles. Hyperboles are for people who are unbelievable or easily discredited. So they use ambiguous and exaggerated words in expressing their meaning to make it spicier and hence, believable. You might be dealing with a liar or cunning person, as the case may be.

Examples of some specific words in this scenario are: “rich, poor (not middle-class), black, white (no shades of grey), dead alive (not loss)” and so on. Using in-between words is more ambiguous and confusing. It also requires deeper comprehension which can be stressful sometimes.

The use of conservatory words

A person who uses a conservative lexicon is mostly conservative. They are unlikely to go overboard with things beyond their words, generally. They don’t overgeneralise or overemphasise, and make use of words like “sometimes, quite, a bit, at times, two days ago, the previous day, a fortnight ago” and so on. They never mince words. They don’t use words to lure you to hear them out or be entertained by them. They inform, educate or impart knowledge in you precisely.  

They even utilise sentence finishers like “etcetera, and so on, and the list goes on” Instead of creating a long list or analysing every single word there needs to be.

When you meet someone who uses a conservatory lexicon in expression, they’re mostly authentic and also easy to comprehend.

The use of repetitive words

Repetitive words can go awry almost all the time. A good listener can instantly detect it, and an observant person can tell you’re not confident enough in your use of lexicons hence, why you keep repeating them. Otherwise, a confident person understands what they mean to say and convey their message at once, using the right words once or at most twice   to buttress their point. But more than twice only shows you’re lacking in the ability to convince the next person  which might, to a degree, measure your level of self-esteem as well.

Imagine a wall to be your mental canvas and create the lexicons you wish to represent you on it. Words are powerful, and when used, they can’t be taken back. Action may try to subdue it or make up for it, but what has been said or heard can’t be unsaid or unheard.

Our choice of words are put together to form our lexicons which are used in expressing ourselves or communicating to others for ease of comprehension. Apart from this grave importance lies other characteristics that highlight the psychology behind each use of your lexicons regularly that can potentially improve our lives and help us develop well.

Some of this observatory psychology can be quite disturbing but worth realizing as our words can define us as a person. This calls for deeper measures to be taken to ensure we aren’t selling ourselves short or masking potential underlying threats that may mar our present and future.

This is why we must implore mindfulness in our choice of words before or while using them whether we are happy, upset, comfortable, or in a trance, to ensure we don’t portray what we are not, nor lose out on who we are, even if momentarily. Because that sucks too.




Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels 

Comet is a passionate writer who aims to use her words to reach the souls of open-minded people. To help uplift them, enrich them with unforgettable nuggets of wisdom, and make them feel included. Not minding the facet of life, it is. To reach her: check me out on Instagram (newbie alert!) @cometnwosu, read more about my work at you won't regret it.


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