Don’t Obfuscate the Situation . . .

Last night, I got a call from a good friend, Brian. He had a word and wanted to see if I knew it. He said it was a small word. Just two syllables, he said. He told me the word. To my dismay and chagrin, I didn’t know the word. Score: Brian 1 Nina 0.

What was the word that he shared? It was reduct (ri-duhkt). The verb version of this word means to reduce. What a dough head I was! Of course!

Reduct has to be used with an object – something that can be reduced. So, you can reduct the speed of a car (which is what my husband should have done as we took a spin in a red convertible mini Cooper on Saturday . . . .). A store can reduct the price of their commodities and have a sale. If I go on a diet, I could reduct my weight. (Wouldn’t THAT be nice??) So reduct means to diminish, make smaller, and reduce.

Brian was in a hurry and didn’t have more time to talk or I would have given him some of the words that I have shared here on my blog. Words like fustilugs, pontificate, vacuous, or fortuitous. But, he is from Oklahoma and wouldn’t know these multiple syllabic words. 🙂

Or, I could share just two syllable words like frowzy, prolix, or rescind. Then, the score would be Nina 7 Brian 1. But, then I would obfuscate him! Oh well . . .

Obfuscate (ob-fuh-skeyt) is a verb (that needs to be used with an object) that means to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy. If I used ‘big’ words, I would bewilder and confuse Brian.

You can obfuscate a problem if you keep adding extra information that is not necessary to solve it. Or you can obfuscate a situation by not providing all of the details – like a teen-aged driver explaining how the car fender got dented. If a news article is not well written, it can obfuscate readers to where they do not understand what was being said.

I hope that the words I share on my blog will help you reduct your lack of knowledge about words and not obfuscate you!


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