At the moment, the BBC.com website makes available several intriguing video-shorts on various subjects. One of them, entitled Why Extroverts Have Their Own Extreme Language, would be especially interesting  to people with an interest in language and its relationship with emotions. I found interesting the following statement made by the narrator:

Psychologists now conclude that extroverts require more cortical stimulation from their language than introverts in order to feel any impact, opting for extreme vocabulary such as ‘sweltering’ over ‘hot,’ or ‘tragic’ over ‘sad.’

The piece goes on to say we actually feel (physically) what we say. For example, if we use language that has the most impact, the impact is felt physically.  We feel extremely hot if we describe the temperature as sweltering, versus describing it as simply hot.

What any of this has to do with extroversion remains a mystery to me, in that neither the narration nor the imagery explains the connection. From my perspective, when in my role as an introverted purveyor of words, the connection is tenuous, at best. Selecting more impactful words is a habit that writers tend to develop because those words tend to “grab” the reader more forcefully and they animate the story or the character or the scene more vividly. The use of  “more extreme” words does not make writers extroverts; more often than not, in my opinion, writers are considerably more introverted than most, in part because writing is a solitary endeavor that requires considerable time alone with one’s thoughts.

Something to think about, though. Thinking about the subject makes me wonder: does  the difference between an individual’s spoken and written language vary more profoundly in writers than in people who do not spend a great deal of time recording their thoughts? I suspect it might. While a writer might say, in conversation, “the morning sky was beautiful,” he might write something like, “the morning sky displayed streaks of orange and red and yellow against a wash of blue and grey clouds against the horizon.”  I know, in my case, I tend to use language like that. I frequently break a cardinal rule of writing by using many more words than necessary; the attraction of spare language has never quite made it to the part of my brain that controls my use of words. I’ve always said, with only modest facetiousness, that I find it pointless to use ten words when one can easily use thirty words to accomplish the same function.


The video-short about extroverts’ language choice was only one of the videos and articles I viewed and read this morning. Another one I found fascinating was an article entitled What Your Colour Choice Says About You. Another article, The Secret History of Angostura Bitters, explores the history of and the lore surrounding the product, made in Trinidad & Tobago. After reading the article, I anxiously await an opportunity to use Angostura Bitters, making drinks I would never have thought to make before reading it. The title of another video, Signs You’re More Intelligent Than You Think, seems designed to attract viewers by stroking their egos. As tempting as it was to view it, I opted to leave it for another time, a time when I’m feeling especially stupid. Another article, which I’ve yet to read but which is intriguing simply because of its subject matter, is entitled Is ‘Melancholia’ the Greatest Film About Depression Ever Made? The article, about the film made in 2011, suggests it is the premiere work about mental illness, specifically depression. I had never even heard of the movie until this morning, but a quick skim of the article sparked my interest. I’ll see, after reading the article in its entirety, whether that interest remains.  My point in mentioning these BBC.com offerings is both to remind myself of them and to again appreciate the diversity of the BBC.com website and the people behind it.


My interest in RVs is changing. I’ve almost decided the ones I’ve looked at are too big for me. I’m more interested, now, in a van-sized vehicle, I think. But I cannot be depended on for certainty about that topic. It seems I change my mind hourly. I received an email this morning from a friend from church, who included a link to a fascinating article about a couple of RVers who described their experience RVing in the Canadian Maritimes, my dream destination. It was almost enough to make me abandon my abandonment of the larger RVs…but not quite. I’m still hoping to check out some smaller vehicles, something I can feel comfortable driving after getting used to a much smaller car. We’ll see.

Today will again be devoted, in large part, to personal business, but only after the “men’s gathering” at the church. This time, inside the building again, the second time since the pandemic began. Hallelujah! I need not bring a chair and hope I am dressed appropriately for the temperatures. Tonight, I will again join a group of rowdy church-goers for a game of trivia (complemented by food and drink) at the only actual pub within miles of Geezer Village. I welcome diversions. It’s late in the morning for me. I got up after six and dawdled a bit. So, I must now rush to shower and shave and finish my cup of cold coffee.  Off to engage with the day!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Diversions

  1. Deanna, your recommendation is enough to make me seek out Melancholia. Whenever I’m successful in finding and watching it, I’ll be sure to talk to you about what I thought about it. Thanks for the comment & suggestion.

  2. Deanna says:

    For the record, Melancholia, the movie, is in my top ten favorites list. Every person I’ve ever recommended it to said later that they started watching it but couldn’t finish it. Hmmm…..I suspect you’ll appreciate it.

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