Long Words


Do you use words when you say things?

It's been four years since I left school and ever since I left I noticed that my vocabulary has been getting... less big. But all my friends, who are PhDs or researchers now, their vocabulary has been getting bigger with all their fancy long words. It makes me feel really, really, really, really... not good.

I decided I should improve myself, and impress all these smart friends of mine by using more long words in my talking-time with them.

We met up in one of the few Greggs which had genuine indoor seating, and they were discussing things and they started using all these long words, and they were all looking at me every time to see if I understood, which was very annoying.

So I waited for my moment, and then /I/ started to use some long words, I said

"Yes they should keep the DOOOOOR open for new recruits in the STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL industry"

And they all looked at me completely amazed, at my sudden change into an intellectual with long words. After shaking off their shock they all started to talk again and when someone was in mid-sentence I said:


And again they all stopped talking and stared at me in wonder, I was clearly surprising them with how long my words were.

And then one of them finally asked me, "Where did you learn all of these LOOOONG WOOORDS?"

And I stood up proudly and turned all 3 of my shirt collars up and I said



But then suddenly the woman at the Greggs counter, this really down to earth, well grounded, no-nonsense woman said to us; "Hold on, what are you all on? Those aren't long words; those are just short words stretched out"

And I was shocked, I was shocked at what this woman said, this woman who was so down to earth that she was sprawled on the floor like a kind of sensible cockroach, was it true? was it really true that all this time my 'intellectual' friends were really just speaking basic English but stretched?

My friends all started saying that "she speaking NOOOOOOOOOONSEEEEEEEEEEENSE"

And the air in the Greggs started to get tense as my friends were all insulting her with really long words, like SILLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY and ZERO HOUR CONTRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACT.

I stood in the middle, unsure of what was true, what was English, what was Greggs?

But then I realised I knew how to prove it, how to see who was actually right about English and I told everyone to just be QUIEEEEEEEEEEEET

And I looked down at the down-to-earth, straightforward, floor sprawling woman and asked her

"If you really know what long words are, then why don't you say one?"

And the cockroach looked up at me, calm, my friends all tense, their faces showing small twitches, were they nervous? Were they curious?

The cockroach looked up at me from down there on the earth, and she smiled before saying her long word,

She said:


And, the woman crawled out of the Greggs, leaving it quite unprofessionally unattended

My friends started to plead with me, convince me she was WROOOOOOOOOONG.