Posted by languageandgrammar on September 16, 2009
Football is not a complicated game. It’s a game of territory, where brute strength is often more important than finesse. It’s a game for big, strong men, not the soft-spoken, pensive type. That’s why it’s surprising to me that the use of inflated language, meaning using larger or more complicated words when straight-forward, simple words will suffice, has spread to the football field.
I recently heard a news story that quoted a coach as saying his young quarterback was intellectually advanced. I guess this young player is so smart that the word smart doesn’t do his vast intellectual capabilities justice.
The problem with inflated language is that it makes you sound as if you’re trying too hard–just say what you mean. It’s easier.
By the way, the word intellectually is often part of word pairs that fall into the inflated language category, such as:
- Intellectually gifted, which is usually said by over-indulgent parents or grandparents about that spoiled, I mean precocious, child
- Intellectually challenged, which is more understandable since it sounds less insulting than some of the alternatives, but the whole something and challenged is so 1990s
- Intellectually disabled, which is a bizarre way to say that someone is unintelligent–their intellectual ability has been turned off as if it’s a piece of computer equipment or something
- Intellectually dishonest, which is a smarter, trendier way to lie
I could go one, but I’m afraid that it would no longer be intellectually stimulating.
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