Oh What a Wonderful Word…

I am a self-described Wordophile. I love words so much that I pontificate over them all the time. Does this word make my point more salient or stronger? Is this word descriptive enough? Actually finding the right word can set my writing back and it takes me a while to actually put my writing out to the universe. At any rate, here is a list (not an exhaustive list) of words that I love and that slightly turn me on.  They are also in no particular order.

Uxorious: to be excessively fond of or submissive to a wife. I have loved this word since my English prof used it when we talked about John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Uxorious was used to describe Adam’s feelings for Eve: Adam’s uxoriousness for Eve caused him to make the choices he made. Literally, his lust for Eve leads him to eat the apple from the Garden of Eden. And we all know how this ends.

Blissful: extreme happiness. I find this word to be extremely descriptive and it makes me happy when I use it.

Delicious: tasty. This word, for me, can be used to describe something physically edible like food, but also to describe a piece of literary brilliance. When writing is so good that it totally resonates with me and leaves a lasting impression, I like to say that it is delicious.

Deranged: insane and unbalanced. I like it because of its descriptive value but also because it connotes a certain undertone of evil characteristics.

Utopia: perfection. Who doesn’t want perfection? I first learned of this word’s existence when studying Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Swift used utopia to describe the perfect society. In the same vein because there has to be a yin to the yang, dystopia is the opposite of a perfect society. Obviously we know that a perfect society doesn’t exist and we mostly live in a dystopian society. Even though we consistently and continually strive for a utopian society.

Satire: using irony and sarcasm for the purposes of critiquing. Obviously, satire has been used through the centuries and by many artists whether graphically, orally, or literarily. I love Shakespeare and I’m not ashamed about it. I think that Shakespeare used satire incredibly well to critique Elizabethan society; royalty; role of women; infidelity; sex; relationships; power; authority; and much more. He was a master and he also created his own words (sorry for the unrelated comment).

Irony: opposite of the literal meaning. Irony is one of those delicious words because it has differing elements depending on its usage, but we only see these differing elements through analysis. Irony has three categories: situational, verbal, and dramatic.

Commodification: to put a price on something that shouldn’t be used for monetary value. Believe it or not, back in 2002 this word wasn’t a word, but my cohort at university used it when describing Indigenous culture that was being sold. Every time I wrote a paper and used commodification Microsoft Word would underline it in red—annoying. Now, I’m happy to see that it’s been added to the English vernacular.

Juxtaposition: used to show contrast between two things.  I love, love, love to use this word to show how two things are dissimilar.

Dialectical: this is a juicy word and has three separate meanings. This is how great this word is. Virtually it means to show how the truth was derived through the analysis of differing arguments. See it’s a beast of word, but so incredibly descriptive.

Some honourable mentions go to @Vampire Nomad and Lydia @Toronto Lydia for their suggestions of words that turn them on:

Delectable: something that is delicious or extremely beautiful. @VampireNomad loves this word because it can be used to describe someone or something. @VampireNomad uses this word to describe Gina Gershon who she believes is one of the most talented women on the planet and I have to agree.

Smooth: funny enough this word can be used as an adjective, verb and noun. It’s multi-talented and moody (all verbs are moody). Smooth means having a continuous even surface. It makes Lydia think of touching skin that doesn’t normally see the light of day.

Words are meant to be fluid and used and abused. I love words so much that I collect them. I’m like a kid on a hot summer’s day catching bugs in a net. When I hear or see a word I like, I write them down, look up their meaning and retain them to memory. I try to use them as much as possible for the first little bit so I don’t forget them. This is exactly how reticent became a part of my vocabulary.

What are your favourite words?

~Jennifer Ward

RantingnRaven on twitter