Writing the college application essay can be a pretty intimidating experience. The topics given are often broad (and sometimes not very interesting) and, if they don’t give you a topic, then it can be downright terrifying to write. You want to sound smart, and you also want to sound academically appealing. The problem with all this pressure is that, sometimes, it can lead college applicants to make some pretty silly mistakes.
One of the most common is turning into Thesaurus Theodore, that dreaded wordsmith who thinks that seven syllables are always better than two (even though that’s not always the case).
Example: The academician employed an exorbitant abundance of behemothic terms.
My point exactly.
For those of you not fluent in Thesaurus-speak, the sentence means “The student used too many big words.” Using a thesaurus is a great idea, but you must replace words IN MODERATION. Too many fancy synonyms and your essay will stop making sense, much like the letter of recommendation written by Joey Tribbiani in an episode of “Friends.”
With the help of a thesaurus, the sentence “They are warm, nice people with big hearts” became “They’re humid, prepossessing Homo sapiens, with full-sized aortic pumps.” He closed the letter by signing his name Baby Kangaroo Tribbiani. If you start replacing your own name with a synonym, you’ve gone too far.
Take Chandler and Monica’s advice: You don’t have to use a thesaurus to sound smart. All you have to do is be yourself, and write from your full-sized aortic pump.