Social Question

Silhouette's avatar

Do you think you can tell a lot about a person by the vocabulary they use?

Asked by Silhouette (8845points) February 19th, 2010
23 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

How much do you think you can tell about a person based on their vocabulary?

The word list; hate,abuser,revenge,hostility,disappointment,
unhappy, complain, jealous,insult,sabotage,

How about if I told you at least 6 of these words were used at least 10 times a day, everyday?

Can a person who spends this much time focusing on the negative truly be positive person?

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ChaosCross's avatar

Totally, it is a great way to tell how they care about impressions and knowledge.

Like for instance,

“I’m good”
“I’m well”

EmpressPixie's avatar

This is a very limited picture of their vocabulary. While I think you can tell a lot about a person by the vocabulary they use, you still need the context of that vocabulary as well as a better picture of their overall vocabulary.

If a person were, for example, writing an epic novel or game about revenge and love and secret vendettas, they might use all of those words a million times and still be the perkiest, most cheerful and happy person on the face of the earth. At the same time, if all they do is rock back and forth muttering about revenge, well…

susanc's avatar

Is this person claiming to be “truly positive”? why should it be an issue?

Blackberry's avatar

I used to think so, until something negative happened to me and I used a lot of negative words too. But I got out of that mindset and changed over time, if one met me at that time in my life, they wouldn’t be able to understand why I’m so jovial and positive now. I did a 180. So maybe that person is the same…...ooooorrrrr…....they’re really just a douchebag lol.

lillycoyote's avatar

Sounds like the vocabulary of someone who has a lot of anger lurking below the surface and who probably has some kind of chip on his or her shoulder.

Facade's avatar

I don’t put much stock in being positive all the time. If something’s shitty, then it’s shitty. No need to pretend it’s not. That said, I do not think you can tell anything about a person from their use of those words you posted, although I think a person’s usage of other words gives insight to their mindset. A person’s grammar and such can tell much about their intelligence.

marinelife's avatar

Not enough information.

I will tell you that I once knew a woman who got in a fight with everyone. She battled with her landlord, she battled with stores, she battled with utilities, she fought with her employer. You could tell she was combative from her vocabulary. She seemed to look for negativity, and she found it.

Silhouette's avatar

@EmpressPixie I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of muttering involved. It’s everyday, all day long. The only positive thing I’ve ever heard this person say is “I’m such a positive person.”

Vunessuh's avatar

I don’t think you can necessarily judge someone based upon their usage of vocabulary.
For example, I think I can speak rather eloquently, but at the same time I do have the mouth of a truck driver on me. It depends on the situation and my environment and the people I’m around and I know you and I have talked about the reasons behind why one possibly chooses to speak that way.

Regarding the words you’ve listed, I think you can, however, tell a lot about their mentality and what they currently choose to focus on. Perhaps they need some help altering the way they view the world if they are that negative.
But at the same time, I would focus more so on their actions rather than their words to determine just how negative and/or unhappy they really are.

mollypop51797's avatar

I think that the subjects they seem to mention a lot can tell what their interest are. Or, how they speak, “I am well and how are you?” or “Yea. I’m good” tells you of their background. I don’t think you can hit their type of personality right on the dot, but you can figure out their insights and opinions, and little things about them everyday through what they talk about.

Silhouette's avatar

@Vunessuh I see those words in everything she says, day after day after day after day and I wonder how much pain is behind them. It’s got to be deeper than anger.

liminal's avatar

@ChaosCross what do you perceive when someone says “I’m well”?

Vunessuh's avatar

I would personally confront her on it. Don’t accuse her, but just tell her that this is what you’ve been observing. Perhaps she needs it to be brought to her attention so she can evaluate her own life and way of thinking.
Because to answer your last question, I don’t think someone can be truly positive or happy for that matter if they constantly focus on what’s wrong. Apparently, she needs help finding the good in things because I have personally learned that you can almost always turn a negative into a positive. I know, sounds like some Disney Channel shit, right?

She’ll continue to mask her pain with the over usage of these words instead of dealing with it head on.
Also, it’s not fair to the people around her.
Her nickname will be Debbie Downer in no time.
Positive people don’t want to be around someone where every time they speak, it depresses them. Perhaps she needs to hear that as well.

Cruiser's avatar

Yep…vocab is the window into the heart, soul and passion of an individual.

filmfann's avatar

“vocab is the window into the heart”


Berserker's avatar

I think it might tell some significant hints at upbringing, and perhaps even culture, but I doubt that one’s vocabulary can really underline the core of a person’s essence.

Merriment's avatar

I think that a person who spends most of their time dwelling in the kinds of thoughts that inspire the usage of those words you listed are seriously not qualified for the label “postive person”.

Even if their supposed goal was to eradicate the things that inspire those words listed, you can’t dwell only on what’s wrong and not take a moment or two to acknowledge what is right with the world.

True positivity is seeing the bad in the world/people and still being able to see the good that is standing alongside it. If all that comes out of your mouth (hence all that you seem to think about) is negative then you are what you speak.

davidbetterman's avatar

Indeed yes. You can tell just oodles and oodles about people by their vocabulary.

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t know if you can tell a lot, but it may tell you whether the person reads a lot. I think reading is how we build our vocabulary.

I wouldn’t put a lot of emphasis on the use of six of your words in a day—that’s 24 hours.

partyparty's avatar

Think they are using anger because they are crying out for help, hoping someone will eventually ‘hear’ the suffering they are going through.

They must be angry for some deep emotional reason.

partyparty's avatar

@marinelife And sometimes it can rub off on the listener don’t you think?

Silhouette's avatar

@partyparty I think you’re right, if you stay around someone like that, soon you’ll be just as bitter.

partyparty's avatar

@Silhouette Yes not a good situation to be in.

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