That’s what my niece said as she sat at our dinner table and listened to the verbal volley that is often present around our evening meals. My poor children have grown up with me and think its normal to discuss big ideas over a pile of mashed potatoes. It is only when someone outside of our little family system sits at our table that I am reminded of just how odd we are at times. I felt badly for her.

Now I know more about her pain. I sit in my PhD courses and often scream inside, “Too many big words!” Here is an example. I am honing in on the topic for my Dissertation. I hope to study the Androgogical Catechesis within a Missional Ecclesiological with special attention on the Pneumatoligical implications therein. Ugh! How’s that for a mouthful? What that means in plain english is that I want to learn how to help adults get connected to Christ in baptism and spiritual education in the church that is missional and I want to know what role the Holy Spirit plays in the process. I know the term “missional” is not common language for many people, but we’re working on that.

Why do we have to use big words in the academy? I’m not completely sure. On the positive side, words help refine and clarify ideas. It took less words in my title to use the big ones, and the words I used–when understood–are more precise than the easier title. That’s probably the real reason we use big words. However, I sometimes wonder if we don’t fall into the temptation to throw these words around a little just to impress others…and ourselves. Scholars are people, and people are frail and insecure. I speculate that this is merely the paranoia of the academic plight…oops, there I go again! 🙂

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