I love words. Some words just resonate with me. There are words that make you think, words that make you smile, words that are evocative, ones that make you sad and there are those words that hit the nail right on the head.
When I read a book it’s the author’s manipulation of language as much as the story that will grab me. I read a wonderfully witty, bitter sweet book this year called Come Thou Tortoise by the author Jessica Grant. It was filled with such clever word play as to make it immediately enjoyable.
The word gulag makes me shiver with cold. Snuggle makes me warm all over. Glisten and sparkle bring an immediate smile to my face. They both conjure up images of snow and sunshine. The very word melancholy causes my shoulders to droop in sadness. Sycophant is a great word. It seems to beg to be uttered with a disdainful tone in your voice. I have trouble with the word necrophilia. It amazes me that such a word needs to exist. You don’t need a word for some sort of crazy abomination that has occurred once or twice in the history of mankind, you need words for more common occurrences. See why I have trouble with necrophilia?
Although grossly overused, whatever, is a great word nowadays. It is useful when discussing family and it is particularly useful for mornings such as today’s. Snowing outside, dead car battery, preparations to do for short trip to New York this week, window guys show up to begin installing new house windows, front load washer on the fritz (what’s that word about?) and is filling with water only to flood laundry room, Chanukah presentation to do in my daughter’s school an hour ago. All of this beyond my control. Whatever.
There are two words that I love that are not english. One of them is a French Canadian word, sorry to any European readers who I may cause to cringe. It is the word ‘flyer’ (don’t pronounce the ‘r’, fly-eh). It is the perfect description of my best friend and it too causes me to smile as I imagine her very animated face telling me some anecdote that is sure to make me laugh. The second word I learned from my husband’s family. My husband always thought that it is a yiddish word but it is in fact a polish one. The word is paskudneh. I have no idea how to spell it but I think you can guess at the pronunciation. It is the perfect one word description for a miserable, rainy, windy, cold, grey, fall day.
What words do you love or hate?