Eating is one of my favorite things to do. I have a Google document where I keep track of restaurants I want to visit, then dutifully check them off as I slowly make my way through it.
I’ll try almost anything once, but like most people, I harbor a few food aversions: pickled items, soggy green beans and things that look too much like what they were when they died.
I consider myself pretty sensitive to texture and taste—often referred to as mouthfeel—and it’s the thing that both makes me crave something repeatedly or avoid it forever.
In a roundabout way, this perfectly captures how I feel about words.
By default, I love words, but there are some words that send shivers down my spine because they’re so delectable. I love the way they feel on my lips and the way they look on a page. We hear a lot (I mean, A LOT) about everyone’s least favorite words, but no one ever talks about their favorites.
I’ve been collecting words since my freshman year of high school, when my favorite words were facetious, nonchalant, pedestrian and melancholy. Fast-forward a bunch of years and I began hosting a #FavoriteWordFriday salon on Twitter each week.
Some of my most recent favorite words include:
- Macabre: Involving death or violence in a way that is strange, frightening or unpleasant.
Already dark and mysterious by definition, this word is a mystery to people who pronounce it wrong. Repeat after me: Ma-cob.
- Reiterate: To repeat something you already said in order to emphasize it.
For no reason other than the way my mouth moves when saying it.
- Lugubrious: Mournful, dismal or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated or unrelieved manner.
I can see this being an “ugly” word to some, but it’s rare we get “goob” in a word!
- Polynomial: Consisting of or characterized by two or more names or terms.
The only thing I learned in math class that stuck with me.
- Amorphous: Lacking definite form.
Funny how a word that means shapeless helps me define so many things in daily conversation.
- Lascivious: Inclined to lustfulness; wanton, lewd.
Unfortunately, I don’t get to use this word as much as I want…which is probably a good thing.
But wait! I also asked the BatesMeron team to share their favorite words—you don’t have to be a writer to have your personal standouts.
Nina: Shenanigans, Audacity, Gumption. (Honorable mention: Goomba)
Fred: Perpetual, Sousaphone, Lovely
Melissa: Tequila!, Buttery, Doofus
Todd: Happenstance, Balderdash
Becka: Equidistant, Amalgamate
Even though I don’t get to use my favorite words as much as I would like, I always try to pick up new ones. My recommendations for delicious words? NPR, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day and the old-fashioned way…books. Bon appétit!
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