Last night we enjoyed a family meal out to celebrate Mother's Day.
While we waited for our food to arrive, our thirteen-year-old son suggested we play a word game to pass the time - by quizzing each other with the most obscure and unusual words we could think of.
It got me thinking. Is having a wide vocabulary a necessity for great communication?
According to lexicographer and dictionary whizz Susie Dent, the average adult has a passive vocabulary (those words we understand but don't commonly use) of somewhere around 40,000 words.
Our active vocabulary, however - the ones we actually make use of - is just half that number, at around 20,000 words.
Surprisingly though, it's estimated that around 89% of everyday writing is created using a mere 1,000 words.
And the ability to use language economically was taken to the extreme by revered children's author Dr Seuss when he took on a $50 bet to write a book that contained just fifty unique words.
The end result? The #4 best-selling children's book of all time - 'Green Eggs and Ham'.
The concept of using simplicity in our writing is explored in this article below from HubSpot blogger Neil Patel.
As Neil argues, it can be tempting to opt for more complex language. But sometimes the best messages are conveyed using the simplest of ideas.
That’s why Einstein was a genius: He understood some really complicated stuff and also knew how to convey that complicated stuff in simpler terms. Think about the complex, specialized topics you know a lot about. It's key that you're able to explain those topics clearly and concisely to others.