My parents were English teachers while I was growing up. I had a healthy vocabulary of three syllable words by the time I was six, and loved to verbally 'show off'. This was great for impressing the grandparents and not so wonderful for school, although it helped me get into the best teachers' classes and earn the trust of the librarian, who pointed me in the direction of some of the classics.
I still don't understand why people don't get excited about words - the feel of them on your tongue and the way your story can change (either blossoming or bombing) with one well-placed descriptor. Language amazes me. I don't claim to have perfect English usage - ha! - I write the way I talk and like to think you can hear my funny accent in some of my posts, but I try. People who don't bother to find out different words for things are slightly suspicious in my book. If they won't make the effort to express themselves properly, what else are they lacking?
And sometimes it's just funny.
I was looking at plants yesterday (The garden centers are opening! Yay for that sign of Spring!) and had a ten minute conversation with a woman who has a whole backyard of pee-oh-nees. She was oblivious to my repeated (correct, by the way!) pronunciation of pee-a-knees. She kept shooting me strange looks and talking louder about her mis-named flowers, and I was smiling back and asking her questions about her pee-a-knees. When she left, she brushed by Bear and muttered something to her husband about 'People from Away sure talk funny.'
Yup, some of us do. And some of us carry Pocket Dictionaries in our purses. The next time we meet, wa-ha! She will learn how to say peony, damn it.