Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Word Is...

There are words that I like to say simply because I love the way they sound. Words like sangfroid. Coquette. Renaissance. Mercurial. Mellifluous. Shibboleth. Picayune. Echelon. Kuala Lumpur. Istanbul.

The sound of some other words I find irritating. I don't, for example, like the way fatuous sounds. Or regurgitate. Bellow. Horticulture. Phlegm -- ugh; it sounds like just what it is. Effete. Expectorate -- saying it almost feels like you're spitting it. My lips have to work too hard to pronounce the names of some modern countries, like Herzegovina.

Some of the words I'm often required to use at work roll pleasingly off the tongue -- nolle prosequi, res gestae, res ipsa loquitur -- while other are perpetual irritants; e.g., ad hoc (which sounds too much like a disgusting bodily function), habeas corpus, tortious.

There are silly words that make me smile when I say them: Kumquat. Platypus. Rutabaga. Parasol. Wombat.

There are nonsensical sounding words, like bugger and boondoggle, kookaburra and fluke. There are flaky words like croissant and cruller, quiche and flan, biscuit and tart. There are trendy, fashionable words such as haute couture (and haute cuisine) and stilettos and Vera Wang.

It takes a melding of all kinds of words to comprise a complete and comprehensive language. Similarly, it takes an amalgam of all kinds of people to make up a balanced society. Intermingled with the kind, the empathetic, the strong willed, the orators, the sympathetic, the talented, the skilled, and the general movers and shakers are the braggarts, the blowhards, the vulgar, the unlettered, the bellicose (I like that word), and the do-nothings.

In a heterogeneous world, you can't have one without the other. Oftentimes, we wish that it were otherwise but, looking at the big picture, it would be a bland, homogenous society without disparate influences. A herd. Who wants pablum when you can have the spice and fragrance of Jambalaya? One has to take the good with the bad, which is as it should be -- and which can be a fascinating sociological study as long as the bad elements aren't bad enough to kill you.

What words make your lists of fun, silly, loathsome, etc.? I'd love to hear some of them.
3 4
Here are the Words Gone Wild rounded up today. To keep your own Twisted Linguistics skills honed (and to stave off total boredom), why don't YOU all define them today?

homosexually is the enemy
a dis-service

What Color Is Your Brain?

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.


Kanrei said...

I am a blue brain that loves the word "discombobulate" even if I cannot spell it. I don't think there are any words I hate per say or even to say. Maybe "you're fired", but not even that sometimes. I will have to get back to you on a word I hate.

Corn Dog said...

Purple. Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic. You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself. (That's a fact, Jack.)

I like the following words: gondola, gradation, epiphany, Mortimer and cake. I like cake in general, not just the word. In fact, there are very few cakes I have met I don't like, as the size of my boo hiney will confirm.

littlebirdblue said...

aggrevious --displaying extremely poor farming conditions

"homosexually is the enemy!" --rallying cry of closeted right-wing pundits

a dis-service --company which, for a nominal fee, anonymously insults persons of client's choice via email or certified, registered letter

defamitory --sleeping quarters for libelous college students

decit --an abbreviated decimal point, also called a petitimal

trajedy --the path of a flying object which is certain to end most unfortunately

Stubbron --tenacious energy brokerage firm accused of systemic corruption and creative accounting fraud

priviledged --reminiscent of the wooden rim of the seat-hole in an outhouse facility

unquenchible --object valued by collectors which never loses its appeal, no matter how many times it is viewed, used, or resold

Serena Joy said...

Don't worry, Kan -- all blue brains can spell discombobulate. You done good.:)

Oooo, CD, I like your purple brain. I like epiphany, too. And cake. I don't care about the word "cake." I've never seen an actual cake I won't eat, though.

Daaaaaang, Littlebird, you are GOOD at this TL stuff. I now know to whom I'm going to pass my scepter if I croak. Those are fabulous definitions.

Roxan said...

***Your Brain is Purple***

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Hale McKay said...

MY mind was blank on a few of them and I see some of the others were thinking like me:

aggrevious - concurring that one thing happened before another.

trajedy - trajectory gone bad

priviledged - relieved oneself against a cliff

dis-service - when gas stations no longer check your oil or wash your windshield

defamitory - to have a title stripped or an award taken away

decit a debit incorrectly entered as a credit in ones check book

"words I like the sound of" savoir-faire, salubrious, evancalous, tintinnabulation

A funny word meaning idle spectator: gongoozler

a little Latin - stercus accidit - "shit happens"

noli me voca, ego te vocabo - "Don't call me, I'll call you."

nunc est bibendum - "Now it is time to drink."

This one I think was probably made up by some college student - but I think it's great:

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? -

"Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?"

MXI said...

I read awhile back, a group of Japanese with no understanding of English were read a series of English words and asked to pick the one they thought sounded the most beautiful and they chose "diarrhea"!?

MXI said...

Oh my God! My brain is blue, should I be seeing someone about that?

Serena Joy said...

Good on you, Mike -- another set of most excellent definitions. I need to let y'all do the work more often, especially now that my brain is turning to mush.:) Very nice list of good-sounding words; I like sounding out savoir-faire, too. Volumen on!

Hi there, MXI, and thanks for stopping by my asylum. That's too funny about the Japanese tourists. Maybe I'm part Japanese; the actual sound of the word IS pretty nice. If I didn't know what it meant, I'd probably lie around using the pretty word in fluffy poetry.:) The blue brain indicates that you think like me. You might indeed want to see someone about that.

Scary Monster said...

Me Brain be purple! Me couldn't take the test so Me jus lifted off me crown and shone a light inside. It were tiny and wriggly, but definitely purple.

Word me be attracted to
duck ~ that one makes me giggle.
any dillo
And of course...


Serena Joy said...

Scary, you're like a gentle zephyr STOMPING through. That's a bodacious list of fun-to-say words. To quote you, "Me like." Do not fret about the purple brain. The luminescent purples are good things to have, aside from a little tertiary dillo-phobia.

Southern Writer said...

My brain is purple.

Words I like:

deja vu
Bora Bora
Machu Picchu
Angkor Wat

Serena Joy said...

Ooooooh, just look at all those pretty, pretty words.