What’s the word

sign letters

I’m a collector of words. I keep an ever-growing lists of intriguing words. Words I’ve read in a book, or heard in movies or on television, words gifted to me by friends and family. I love words.

I’ve bookmarked pages of lists on my laptop – animals groups (did you know you call a group of Flamingos a “Flamboyance,” or call a group of Porcupines a “Prickle”?), archaic words (“expiry” means death, and a “cordwainer” is a shoemaker), the names of old diseases (Whooping cough was once called “Kruchhusten,” and tonsillitis was once called “quinsy”), and a list of gods of mythology and folklore (Mama-Quilla is the Incan moon goddess, and Hoori is the Japanese god of hunting),

There is a list of words I keep on my smartphone. That list includes words like, “hygge” which is a Dutch term meaning, “a space or state of warmth and friendliness,” and “petichor,” that sweet smell that comes after a rain, and “facinorous” a term used to describe someone who is “exceedingly wicked.”

If I can’t find a reason to pepper my speech with these linguistic gems, I add them liberally to my writing. Why use two or three words when one superlative word does twice the work.

Consider the word, “floccinaucinihilipilification,” which is the practice of naming something as worthless. Then there is   “sesquipedalian,” a term for someone who is given to using long words, or if you are more introspective, (my husband’s personal favorite word) “omphaloskepsis,” the practice of contemplating one’s naval as a means of meditation.

I also have several different dictionaries and thesauruses (thesauri?), well-worn and well-loved.

Among all my lists, I even have a favorite word. I like it because it just sounds disagreeable – “curmudgeon” – a term used to describe an ill-tempered person, typically a man. The very pronunciation is crotchety. That’s a good one too, “crotchety,” which means, “irritable.”

There are a few words that made their way onto my lists that I reaped from other 100 Word stories. When I find such an intriguing word, it’s like finding a golden Easter egg.

“When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me, I am in darkness. I am nothing.” ~ Virginia Woolf

The word for this week is:

List

Using “list” for inspiration, write 100 Words, no more, no less, then link back to this post, or leave your submission in the comment section. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow wordsters.

Author: Tara R.

I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

27 thoughts

  1. Pingback: follow the list |

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