There are words that aren't really big words, but there are other ways of saying them. I remember hearing 'ameliorate', 'eponymous' and more recently 'apocryphal' and having to look up their meaning secretly. I tend to remember things where I have an emotional connection, and embarrassment/confusion means I often connect these types of words with a person. I know I had heard them. I know I should know the meaning. I know I do now. When I looked up the words, I started hearing them more often.
That feeling of suddenly seeing that something as more common, because it now has meaning to me, is why I have been doing the 100(ish) word series on countries, cities and areas. With 7.5 billion people on the planet, it is easy to ignore massive chunks because we have 'no' connection to them. The spider thin web of travellers and traders from more than 600 years ago that wandered over deserts, seas and silk roads has grown significantly. We are now connected via language, religion, common ancestors, commerce, food, stories, and other ways that make distant people matter.
I am trying to understand the Nationalism v Globalism conflict. Starting with understanding what the story is that connects people to various nations is seems a good place to start.
100 words can create a trigger that lights up dark areas of our Ignorance Map.