Words, Wonderful Words!

I am deeply and truly in love with words. There are words I could marry, I love them so much. There are words I don’t care for; they conjure up unpleasant images for me. There are words I love to say; I enjoy the sound of the them and the very feel of them in my mouth as I say them.

Words have power, personality, punch, panache and pizzazz. There are words I like so much that I find a reason to use them just so I can speak them out loud. There are also words that are inherently funny–they sound funny; even feel funny when you say them:

  • Bologna
  • Bumfuzzle
  • Taradiddle
  • Snickersnee (hint: if you are a foll0wer of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, you’ll recognize that one)
  • Collywobbles
  • Widdershins

Some of the words I love just for their sheer majesty are these:

  • Chatelaine
  • Palimpsest
  • Palindrome
  • Zaftig
  • Hyrax
  • Chimera
  • Pelucid
  • Illuminate
  • Quetzal
  • Imbroglio
  • Asphodel
  • Insouciant
  • Triskadexaphobia
  • Interlocutory
  • Zeitgeist
  • Pinyon
  • Reliquary
  • Estuary
  • Pillock
  • Circumnavigate
  • Ineluctable

I purposely did not put the definitions in; I’ll let you have the pleasure of looking up the ones with which you may not be familiar. I read a lot of books, and I learn a lot of new words in this way. But here’s the thing: you get a little smug when your favorite hobbies are reading and writing; you get the false sense that you know all; or at least have a nodding acquaintance with–all the words in English language–but no. There is always something new to discover.

It hurts my heart a little when I hear words misused; it’s as if someone is attacking a dear friend of mine. Or sometimes it’s just funny, such as the time the Crankee Yankee and I were walking near a Chipotle’s restaurant. A young woman and her friend were also walking by and one of them said, “What to try Chipotles (pronounced ‘chi-POT-uls’) for lunch?”

Of course, she may never have run into that word before in her life, and shame on me for being such a word snob. (But honestly–it was kinda funny.)

My mother and I adore Scrabble, and it is a pure pleasure when one of us can use a fabulous word and get a good score with it. To us, it’s the ultimate win-win.

So does this all mean that I am a consummate etymologist? No, I’m not that dedicated. I am merely a major appreciator of words. (And just a little bit of a word snob, too.)

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