Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, writing-related question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite word that you like to play with every now and then? It doesn’t have to be one that you use in your writing – although that would be neat to find someone who makes sure to include 1 particular word in every piece of work – but just a word that you love the sound of. Maybe you have more than one. What is it, and why does it have your attention?
Lee Laughlin Well, my favorite word of late is kerfluffle.It strikes me as a good way to describe all the little tiffs and skirmishes that seem to erupt on a day to day basis either in real life or in the media. Another one I’m having fun with is shenanigans. Just like the way they sound.
Jamie Wallace: I don’t think I could ever pick an all-time favorite word, but there are some that I definitely use a lot. “Discombobulated” comes up frequently in my world. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I’m also enjoying the word “onomatopoeia” at the moment because my eight year-old daughter has just learned about it in her second grade literature studies, and she likes to point out examples in her bedtime stories.
Lisa J. Jackson: “Ponder” always comes to mind, and I used to use it a lot in speaking, but not so much any more. Another favorite is “curmudgeon” because a former boss fits the word perfectly as a first impression, but he’s such the opposite and he holds a special place in my heart. I should look him up and see how his writing is going!
Deborah Lee Luskin: I live with a man whose family has its own language, filled with both established words, like “nurley-groodies” (which are the tasty bits that fall to the bottom of the salad bowl), and words-of-the-moment, like – well, you have to be there when they occur. My favorite of these words, and one that has spread around the world with our children, is “schloop,” which describes a particularly good dinner dish, one that usually has a certain amount of sauce to it. One of the highest accolades for a stewy-soupy-casseroley meal in my house would be, “This is really good schloop.”
Diane MacKinnon: I really love the word balaclava. I once told my stepkids that I was going to slip it into a conversation at work that day. Since it was summer day and I was going to be seeing patients, they didn’t think I could do it. But we lived in Maine, so I just brought one of many conversations about hiking around to winter hiking and there you go–”My husband always wears his balaclava when he’s winter hiking.” I personally have never worn a balaclava, but it occurs to me that if I actually had one, I could use the word so much more!
Susan Nye: Although I rarely use them in my writing, I love big, multisyllabic words. Words like multisyllabic, exacerbate and incorrigible. My writing is more plain-speaking so why use undulate when rise and fall will do?
That said, I am a big fan of epiphany. I like the way it trips off my tongue. And I am always more than grateful when a bright idea or brilliant solution pops into my head. Especially when I’m on deadline … like today.
Wendy Thomas: It’s funny, I do have a favorite word and we joke about it all the time. It’s the word “anthology.” For whatever reason, I just love the way it rolls out of one’s mouth. Other than adoring the sound of the word, that’s my only relationship with it. Until this entry, I doubt I’ve used it in a sentence and anthologies are at the bottom of my list of things to read.
By the way, my second favorite word/phrase? It’s Bosnia Herzegovina. Go figure.