I love words. In fact, one could say that, as a writer, I depend on them. For, words are helpful in getting your point across. They’re also good at conveying emotions when looks, alone, aren’t enough. I’ve been noticing, too, that words play a key role in my ever-expanding collection of quotes.
Yes, words are special, despite the fact that they come a dime a dozen and are free to use by anyone with a hankering to speak or write.
Recently, The New Yorker magazine cleverly asked its readers to name a word in the English language that they’d like to see eliminated from the dictionary. The words quickly poured in—everything from “bling” and “swag” to “awesome” and “like.”
Which is why, I’ve decided, rather than focus on words I’d like to see eradicated from the English language (“Tebowing” would be a good start!), I am herewith celebrating the words that I love.
So, a round of applause please for these descriptive words that are, frankly, fun to pronounce:
Tony, as in: The woman in the silvery stockings and flaming green Bolero jacket, walked confidently, that is, until she slammed into the entrance of the tony nightclub.
Apoplexy, as in: If you tell me one more time that you wish to ride the Matterhorn with my Aunt Viv, I am certain to be struck by a fit of apoplexy.
Conundrum, as in: Whether to go fishing with my cousin, Carl, or hunting with Dick Cheney, is certainly a conundrum.
Lackadaisical, as in: Newt Gingrich is feeling rather lackadaisical this week, now that he’s quit his presidential run, and plans to wait until next week to begin his latest project–that of colonizing the moon.
Sultry, as in: His intense, sultry gaze aroused in Henrietta a passion that almost allowed her to forgive him for sinking his cuspids into her exquisitely fine neck.
Behoove, as in: It would behoove Jack to think twice about betraying the mob boss, particularly if he had any hopes of keeping his job as a hit man.
Riff-raff, guttersnipes, as in: Eloise walked gingerly around the riff-raff and guttersnipes playing in the courtyard, in order to let the director know that she was more than ready to bring them in for their naptime.
Discombobulated, as in: Lupita Davenport was completely discombobulated, for she didn’t know whether to serve her pie, a la mode, or with the ghastly syrup Aunt Bella had brought for the occasion.
Scofflaw, as in: When Peter Hamilton rushed into the train station, in search of a restroom, he hesitated when he saw one door that read, “Women” and the other “Scofflaws.” As his debts to society had all been paid, he decisively entered through the door marked, “Women.”
Lilacs, as in: For her Diamond Jubilee, young Henry, who came from royal blood, gathered a bouquet of lilacs for his noble Queen.
Convoluted, as in: The directions to the jailhouse were so convoluted, Kim discarded the idea of visiting her finance, Elvis, and decided she would just wait out the 20-years-to-life sentence he’d received.
Ranunculus, as in: Victor decided he’d pop the question amidst the flower fields, not realizing Kathryn was fatally allergic to the ranunculus, which were in full bloom.
Ne’er-do-well, as in: Alicia was determined to tell her ne’er-do-well father that dinner was ready.
Flabbergasted, as in: When Grandma Debbie arrived at the reunion with two leopards in tow, we were all flabbergasted, as no one had realized she was still alive.
Trousers, as in: Detective Nathan was about to finger the murderer at the dinner party, when Joe Knuckles politely asked, “Before you do, would you like to put your trousers back on?”
As for the “winning” word in the New Yorker contest, the word that most felt ought to be forever swiped from the English vocabulary? The answer is:
“Moist,” as in, pass me a slice of that delectable, moist cake.
So, how about you? Tell us in the comment section your favorite—or least favorite—words.