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I have a huge vocabulary and fairly good grammar, thanks to being a voracious reader since the age of 3.

However, all of my adult life, starting with my stint in the Peace Corps, continuing on through teaching elementary school and working in transportation first as a bus driver and then supervisor and finally transportation planner, I have had to dumb down my conversation and writing.

For years I have been "translating" the words and phrases in my head into standard 12th grade English, because that was what was expected of me. More than once I was called on the carpet for writing memos using exotic vocabulary.

I remember being soundly castigated (oh, how I love crunchy words) for using the word "exigent" when describing a situation where extra buses might be required. Heaven forbid anyone should have to look up a word, learn something new. No, I was told to keep my communication plain and simple.

So I did.

Now, much to my delight, I am retired. I can use whatever language I choose, whatever vocabulary comes to mind, complex sentences with dependent clauses--the works.

And I find, to my dismay, that much of my vocabulary, unused, has faded into dim memory. Only as I write in this journal does some of it resurface. All of that education and learning, suppressed in the name of mediocrity, the lowest common denominator.

Thank you for putting up with me and my fancy words.

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