What are your favorite and least favorite words? Any reasons why?
Question submitted by Byrne.
This is kind of a weird question. It’s not as if I keep a running list of my all-time favorite and least-favorite words. Do other people? Gosh, I feel so inadequate now! My mind just doesn’t work that way. Anyway, this response will have to have a sort of stream-of-consciousness quality.
Favorites: Caress, defenestration, freedom, garble, gobbledygook, love, preterpluparenthetical, rogue, shirtless, yes, zamboni.
Least favorites: Dyspeptic, hate, no, oleaginous, perfidy, pervert, phlegm, pompadour, puncture, smegma, turgid, unctuous.
What’re the themes here? Well, my favorite words tend to have positive connotations, while sounding soothing or poetic or just, well, novel. Take preterpluparenthetical, for instance. Not only does the word have a sort of pleasant sing-songy quality to it, but the word means something cool—excessive addiction to parentheses. (I like parentheses, especially the way they allow a writer to be charmingly discursive.) My least favorite words tends to sound harsh, while conveying something, well, ooky.
You’re sorry you took this little trip inside my mind, aren’t you?