Washington Post (June 27) picked up Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s comment digging in Sen. Wendy Davis for her filibustering the abortion bill in his speech delivered at a convention of the National Right to Life organization in the article titled, “Rick Perry: Wendy Davis should know better,” and Davis’ counterblow.
Perry said in his speech;
“She’s the daughter of as single woman; she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School. -- It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, --”
Davis responded to Perry’s statement “is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view.” - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/27/rick-perry-wendy-davis-should-know-better/
I’m drawn to the word, “small word.” It doesn’t appear in none of Cambridge, Oxford, and Merriam Webster English Dictionary.
Google Ngram shows incidence and currency of “small words” since 1980 up to date at an average 0.000002 to 0.000004 emergence level.
I used to be told by my English teacher at college 60 years ago(!) to use as much a plain and short word as possible and refrain from using a “big word” when speaking and writing in English, so I understood "big words" means lengthy and pedantry words like legal terms.
However, I don’t understand what “small words” mean. It doesn’t seem to be an antonym of ‘big words.’
Does it mean a short, terse, but poignant expression? Is it a common word, though I can’t find it in any of leading English dictionaries?