My Aggrandising Lexicon – By @JesseOHare

Jesse Sharp-O'Hare

By Jesse Sharp-O’Hare


My Aggrandising Lexicon


In preparation for the start of term, I’ve been (slowly) working my way through the reading list, coming to grips with memory-saving mnemonics and various points that can be tipped. It’s been while traversing this pretty considerable, at times daunting, array of books that I’ve realised it’s not just hundreds of different concepts and ideas I’m going to be packing into this next twelve months, but a whole set of completely new words, phrases and terms. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that occasionally reading a bit of Thaler, Kahneman or Gladwell feels like I’m watching a foreign-language film without subtitles or a phrasebook. If you had sat me down a few months ago, before I started, and asked me a) what a maven is, b) to define libertarian paternalism or c) why are good ideas sticky, I would have looked at you blankly. Even now I might do the same, although after a bit of consideration and a hurried scour of my books I could probably give a half-satisfactory answer. 


Every day(ish) I’ve been adding new words to my dictionary – some big, some small, all novel. Committing them to memory has been a little bit more a challenge, but it seems something I should try harder to nail down before the start of term so that I’m not just nodding and smiling as Marc waxes lyrical about the impact of the Heath Brothers’ S.U.C.C.E.S system or the difference between Blue’s Clues and Sesame Street. There’s nothing worse than looking gormless. 


I’ve found that more interesting than just entirely new and foreign expressions is finally putting a name to a face for experiences I’ve experienced since I was too young to pronounce ‘experience’. Through the years there have been times too numerous to count when I’ve exasperatingly hummed at my friends ‘da da da da dum, doo doo doo da da dee, da da da da dum, da da da da dee’*, or something to that effect, to a largely bemused reception as I try to explain a song to them. As such, reading about the ‘Curse of Knowledge’ for instance has been interesting, like finally realising the answer to a question you’ve always wondered about.


That and me being lazy I can always put down to the ‘planning fallacy’, which sounds more official than just ‘I left it all to the last minute’.






*That particular rendition was The Next Episode by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg


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