Thursday, February 10, 2011
What is Your Favorite Word?
I fondly recall the year I got a small, paperback dictionary in my Christmas stocking. I remember lying in bed and reading it, discovering new words. Of course I also remember hunting down some mysterious words with known reproductive connotations, most of which I had heard my older brother utter but not define. This was shortly before we both got into trouble with the parents for referring to our younger brother as an "ovum". Such were our insult skills at that age.
I also recall earning the family nick name "tech peck". "Tech" was short for "technical". It referred to my very literal respect for the meaning of words, and how I was prone to correcting family members for improper word choice and/or ambiguous phrasing. I have no idea what "peck" meant, but I suppose it was chosen because it rhymed with "tech" and seemed demeaning when pronounced with a tone of disparagement.
In the span of a couple days last summer, two different people spontaneously told me about their "favorite word". One mentioned during a hike in the Maine woods that "verdant" was her choice, seemingly because it described a particularly pleasant aspect of nature. The other, for some reason, was fond of the word "rogue". I understood this was partially due to the fact that it is a short, unique word that seems to sound exactly as a word meaning "rogue" should sound.
These back-to-back experiences set me on an introspective course to determine if I have a favorite word. I have pondered this many times over the past months, in the shower, on long runs, while driving, and whenever I encountered good words. So far, I guess I don't have a favorite.
Today in the Huffington post, blogger Marc Middleton wrote that his favorite word is "mindfulness". He explains why he likes it; you should click through and read his post if you are interested.
So anyway, now I am wondering; does everyone have a favorite word, except me? Did I somehow not know that, in addition to a favorite color, a favorite baseball team, and a favorite Victoria's Secret model, we are all also supposed to have a favorite word too?
Let me know where you stand on this one, imaginary readers. Wait a minute..."imaginary"...that's a nice word..
Posted by Dennis Fortier at 3:12 PM