What is your favorite word? Not the word you use most frequently -- the word that makes you smile when you say it. My son's favorite word is “glossary”. He didn't know what it meant, but liked the way it sounded when he said it. That's what I mean -- the kind of word that feels good in your mouth and tickles your tongue. A good word has a trill to it like music. Hey, that's a nice one – “trill”.
I love words; not a big surprise from someone who dreams of one day making a living with them. But with writing, the words are spelled, not spoken – it's not the same. I have to imagine the words on the page being said aloud, or at least wait until I'm alone in the house so my family won't think I've lost it. The other downside to writing is that I don't seem to be able to use most of my favorite words in my work: “existential”, “sanctimonious”, “reciprocity”. Although I did actually manage to squeeze “carnivorous” into a story recently.
Others I can't even fit into conversation, at least not the sort of conversations I have. “Perpetuate” is hard to slip into a chat about play-dates, isn't it? If only I knew a “philanthropist” to refer to or even knew what “pedagogy” meant. And who could I possibly describe as “nubile” without being laughed at? Unfortunately, as this point in my life, I have no need to use the word “aphrodisiac”.
Of course, every once in a while, there is a “calamity” in my life, or an “ignoramus”. I did have to “eradicate” the ants from my kitchen a few weeks ago. Yesterday I told the clerk at Best Buy that something was “prohibitively” expensive. He didn't smile when I said it, but I did. Oh, and on Friday, my boss went “ballistic” when I asked him if I could have a few days off around Christmas.
My daughter told me that her favorite word is “kitty”. I asked her why, but she just shrugged. Then my son leaned over and whispered to me, “I thought she was going to say 'makeup'”. So did I.
What's your favorite? You don't have to tell me, but I'm betting that the next time you say it, you'll think of me ... or not.