I love my dictionary…

So I love words. I guess that isn’t surprising since I use them to craft my stories.

The English language is incredible. How awesome it is to be able to tell someone in three words that they’re beautiful, or express how proud you are of your children’s achievements.

I love the way some words sound – bubble for example. As you say it, it actually sounds like a bubble being blown from a kid’s bubble wand. Pronto is another one – it sounds fast, like it has to happen now!

Morbid – well it both looks and sounds like a sad word. Do you see where I’m going?

Okay, I have a confession. I’ve been known to read the dictionary one page at a time. I haven’t read the whole book, but it’s such a cool way to learn new words and there is no way in the world you can know them all.

I’ve got oodles of favourite words: memories, Cornish (I just love the way it sounds), flutter, lashings. When I use these words, they create beautiful images in my mind. A fluttering butterfly. Lashings of whipped cream. Memories make me smile, laugh and cry.

I think my favourite word though, is HOPE. I love the way it sounds, the way it looks and the way it comes out of my mouth.And most importantly, what it means.

Nicole Alexander (‘Bark Cutters’ and ‘A Changing Land’, Random House) discusses her favourite word as follows :

‘One of my favourite words is recalcitrant. I remember Paul Keating using it in reference to a south-east Asian head of state during his term as Prime Minister. The next day one of the newspapers ran a ‘tongue in cheek’ article on some members of the parliamentary press rushing to their dictionaries to determine exactly what the word recalcitrant meant. Of course everybody knew the connotation was derogatory. Paul Keating wasn’t known for his sunny disposition! Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary defines recalcitrant as resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant. It was an interesting choice of word for a Prime Minister to use when addressing a contemporary.  Placed in the dialogue of a character in reference to something or someone, the word suggests both a forceful personality and a particular level of education and/or time period. Its usage was relatively common during the nineteenth and twentieth century among those who considered themselves to be members of the upper class.’

Anna Hill who is a freelance journo says this:

1.          Troglodyte – exuding all the haughty indifference of youth, this was my teenage self’s insult of choice when dealing with teenage boys. I still like it. I still use it when dealing with men who have only reached the maturity level of a teenage boy.

2.         Rambunctious – it has a quirky sound that appealed to me early on in life. Now I am a Mum it holds a lot more meaning!

3.         Actually – simple, but one I use a lot. Maybe it makes me feel what I have said has more validity. It is actually a very versatile word. (See?)

4.         Consequence – I realised how frequently I used this word when my barely able to talk children started saying it, all three of them. It’s a household staple attached to explanations of how the world works and how we fit into that world.

5.         Facet – I find that I utilise this word with great frequency in my writing. It is my belief this occurs because I am always trying to consider many aspects of a single whole. People can often look at only one facet and forsake the others that make up the whole story.

Margareta Osborn (Long Way Home, 2012, Random House) tells me her words are:

Buttery because it invokes images of warmth and comfort.

Salubrious, because it’s so ‘out there’ with its decadence.

Grace, because I love what it stands for.

So there you have it – some of our favourite words. I’d love to know what yours are.

Comments 0

  1. Oh now you have done it. I want to dash off and immerse myself in reading the dictionary like I did as a kid.

    LOVE the size of your dictionary Fleur, who said bigger isn’t better!

    1. It’s the only dictionary that I’ve found with the word ‘agistment’ in it, so I figure it’s ALL the words in world!

  2. Finnicky, upstanding, unanimous, forenzic, abrupt…
    Also adore alliteration (cracking myself up) – the word and the action!
    Love love LOVE words…
    Will be now thinking of favourites all day long!

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