Now, I have no idea how I fared at language development as a tiny girl, but I think Aaron might get his vocabulary problems from me. Me as I am now.
I don't think I have a teeny tiny vocabulary. I know lots of words. My mother has a great vocabulary (she's a real smarty) and I usually know the definitions of the words she uses. I rarely read words I don't know (maybe this is more a reflection of the kinds of books I read). I score okay on Reader's Digest Word Power tests (could be better, though).
I am able to formulate sentences. Complete ones, even. I don't think "Complete ones, even." is a complete sentence, but I didn't say I always DO form them that way. I know how to misuse scores of legitimate words and I know how to correctly utilize a plethora of words that don't exist. For example, I use the word "ones" all the time, and my dictionary informs me that the lone definition of that word is "Once". Please, those of you with a better vocabulary than mine, be advised that I NEVER mean "once" when I say "ones".*
Normally I don't give a care (:P) about such things. We are all aware that I do what I want around here. I ignore spell checker for the most part since I wrote that post about how rude it is. So I am definitely no sort of word snob, and probably couldn't be if I tried, but I would really appreciate it if I could at least use the words I know.
In everyday writing this isn't too much of a problem. It's when I'm writing something other than just what I'm thinking that it gets annoying. I rarely struggle with it on my blog because I'm not out to paint a perfect picture, or win a literary prize; but once I get writing something that stretches me a little, I draw blanks. Really. Even fairly basic adjectives elude me. I feel as though I'm struggling with a math problem that I remember learning how to solve, but I am utterly helpless to make it appear again in my brain. Sometimes it's, "Oh! I know there's a perfect word for this!" and sometimes it's, "I have no idea on Earth how to say that very basic thing."
There's a new game going on over at Bloggers Annex (isn't that supposed to have an apostrophe, and if not, why not? Please someone enlighten me!!) wherein you create a story idea, a few characters and a conflict. Then your ideas are switched with someone else's and you write their story and they write yours. This is a really fun idea, but when you're dealing with people who are talented (and in some cases published!) writers it's a little intimidating. Then if you have a dysfunctional vocabulary in exactly those kinds of writing situations, it's even worse. So I haven't signed up (also partly because I haven't written a story since grade school almost, and I don't really know how to come up with the makings for one for someone else to use).
I realize that to retain vocabulary you have to use the words. I suppose that's my problem, but I'm not really sure how to solve it.
But I'm open for ideas.
* I mentioned this thing about "ones" to Greg and he jumped right on it, "The dictionary doesn't list plural words, silly!" OH, duh. I'm leaving this in my post anyway because I love scattering evidence of my brainlessness here and there for all y'all. (My wariness of the word ones comes from someone I knew who insisted there was no such word, or it was improper. I'm so glad that person was wrong! I NEED that word.)