I love language (duh) and love noticing the frequency is which words and phrases each person uses. Whether we realize it or not we all have a speech pattern unique to us. I’m sure we all have favorite words which when we hear them makes us smile. Below are my five of my favorite words and why I love them.
Asinine: This adjective describes something as silly or stupid. I first heard this word from my spouse several years ago. No, he didn’t use it to describe me rather he used it to describe a person he knew. Having never heard this glorious word, which sounded so much like ass or asshole, I asked what it meant. I love using this word because it’s an insult flavored with a hint of intelligence. This pleases me as I sound smart, yet a bit crude all at the same time.
Paprika: I love spicy food and this is a spice I frequently use. Not only do I have the regular paprika, mild and a bit sweet, but I also have the privilege of possessing a bag of very hot Hungarian paprika given to me by one of my brother-in-laws. The spice itself is a wonderful flavor and such an easy way to add color to a dish. Besides perking up a dish, it’s difficult to feel blue saying “paprika”. These three syllables roll happily off my tongue and forces me to smile. Honestly, try it. You’ll feel better.
Puppy: Every human being on the planet knows what a puppy is. Most of us melt a little whenever we see a baby animal and with dogs it’s those big eyes and klutzy, happy way they move about. Just writing, typing, and saying the word puppy brings me joy. The lovely triplicate p sound. The way it pops off the tongue. The instant image of dozens of puppies playing with each other, tumbling over their own underdeveloped limbs, their juvenile barks, wagging tails, peeing on your floor. You get the idea. One can feel a puppy’s tongue licking their face and a cold, wet nose on the skin when you see the word puppy.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables. They are light, slightly sweet, cool, refreshing, and go great in sandwiches, salads, and pasta. It’s fun to say and write because the coo sound in the first syllable isn’t heard frequently. Adding one letter modifies the sound significantly. Like eating the vegetable, it has a calming effect on me.
Chocolate: It’s obvious by now I love my food words. Chocolate is no exception. When you say the word chocolate it just sounds so decadent, a bit exotic (thank you South America), and comforting. Chocolate is used to celebrate both the good and the bad. Gotta a birthday? Let’s have some chocolate! Got dumped? Let’s have some chocolate! Made it through another day? Let’s have some chocolate! The food itself is versatile; it can be eaten on its own, paired with other sweet flavors, or even combined with savory flavors. It can be baked, drunk, curled, melted, tempered, grated, made into a powder or paste, and of course, poured into candy bar format. Like some of the other words on this list, the combination of sounds makes me smile.
Language is such a curious thing. I’m amazed at the number of languages in existence. In awe of how it constantly evolves with new words and words which fall out of favor. What our favorite words are, I believe, adds another layer to our personalities. Are we serious or silly? Are we sophisticated or down-to-earth? Are we book smart of street smart? In looking over my own list it’s clear I like food, animals, and being snarky though with a smidge of intelligence. Pretty accurate insight into who I am.