The waste of our "amazing" brain


By Logan Weeter

I had a good friend in high school who gave a speech discussing the capabilities of the human brain. She talked about how “just like every walking, living person in this world, I have a brain. In this brain, I have over 100 thousand of miles of neurotransmitters, connections that help to control feelings, reactions, memory and words.”

Your brain is what’s allowing you to see the words that are printed on this paper or projected on this screen and process it to make sense in your mind. As modern young adults we are exposed to a lot.

According to the “The Phenomenal Experience” by Jeff Bollow, we can process 20 quadrillion bits of information a second. It’s nearly humanly impossible to grasp the concept of quadrillion, yet our minds are working 20 times faster than that in a second.

The human brain truly is a marvel. So why is it that our minds are so fabulous and complex, but all that comes out for some is … “Duuuuude”

Everywhere I look, society is dumbing down human language as much as possible, abbreviating everything over text and creating slang words to represent ideas that might take a sentence or two to otherwise communicate.

In all honesty, there’s no conceivable limit to the amount of words we could learn. So it makes no sense for us to limit ourselves. It’s foolish to make ourselves sound even more stupid than we probably — honestly — already are, especially when it’s almost more difficult to constantly keep up with our rapidly evolving “age of Internet” language.

I mean, I still don’t fully understand what on earth “yeet” means.

But the worst part of this change in dialect isn’t the new additions spread through Vine and Twitter. The biggest word crime we commit is how severely we limit the few real words we actually know.

Humans are creatures of habit; we’re taught these words and they stick. We mimic friends, parents and media and become boring records on repeat, only using the first few words we learn, when there are probably enough synonyms for “good” to avoid repeating the same one for an entire week (“Hey, that’s amazing!” “Now that’s amazing!” “Wasn’t that amazing?”)

A boring record on an amazing loop.

The problem isn’t hard to fix. In fact, I’m sure most of you know already where I’m going with this. It’s pretty common knowledge that reading, among plenty of other health benefits, helps to sharpen memory and widen vocabulary.

Reading can be more than just an assignment. So yes, open up to the idea of taking time to expand your mind and maybe pick up an actual book and not just for school either.

Carry yourself with the knowledge that you refuse to be labeled just as an “amazing” person. Become fascinating, prodigious, riveting or even engrossing. People can be so much more than just “amazing.”

Establish your own individuality and become interesting with your words. It’s not as if you can’t use words like “amazing” or “awesome,” just be aware of the time and place to use them; situations where you truly stood in amazement or awe, which I’m willing to bet cannot be used to accurately describe your favorite drink from Espresso Royale.

The point of having an expansive vocabulary is not to use fancy, complicated words to impress or confuse other people, it’s being able to choose words with greater precision and communicate more effectively.

Researcher Johnson O’Connor, known for his studies about the impact of vocabulary on people’s lives, has drawn many impressive conclusions. Through complex and isolated variables in testing, he found a person’s vocabulary level is the best single predictor of occupational success.

And I’m sure that a boost to your vocab is almost guaranteed to give you a boost of self-confidence, and that helps you to become more self and socially aware. Words are essential, but they can also be self-helping, which is really the most important thing.

I’m part of a Public Speaking 101 class, and it’s my sincerest hope that, come the speeches that will be presented roughly a week from this publication date, I won’t have to sit through seemingly endless eight-minute bouts of the same hundred words spewed at me in different orders.

We all became students on this campus for our mind in one way or another and students should utilize it to create a much more intelligent, respected and truly amazing community.

Logan is a freshman in LAS.?

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