In the middle of a conversation with a relative, I struggled to correctly pronounce the word iconography. I knew the word’s meaning, but I doubt I’d ever said it. My relative corrected my pronunciation, which I appreciated. At fifty-six years old, I’m still expanding my vocabulary. I read constantly and continue to look up words I don’t know. I never plan to use new words; they simply pop into my head and out my mouth. Sometimes I’ve been familiar with a word for years but have never said it out loud.
My vocabulary is part of who I am, and people comment on it regularly. One of the reasons I have an expansive vocabulary is because I’m willing to make mistakes. If we want to keep growing, we have to accept that we might make errors. My life is constricted in many ways by poor health. But my health issues don’t impact my vocabulary. Any part of my life that can flourish despite my health is a bonus. So if I struggle to pronounce a word I’ve never said before, who cares? Not me.