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Cool Words. Because Why Not?




- Jo -

This should come as no surprise to you: I like words. They're useful things on the whole and almost all of them have or have had huge value. However, I am of the opinion that all words are not created equal. Some of them are useful and boring, while others are more fun than a dozen more combined. Now, I don't know if you do this, but I find myself often interrupting myself to remark on my admiration for a particular word that had come up in conversation. Unfortunately, the reasons for this love are as varied as they are arbitrary, so there's no telling which word will next catch my fancy. And you never know, some of these might actually come in handy to you, too. Still, it's important to note that this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Gelatinous - I was in the car on the way to church some weeks back and I had a question sloshing around in my head: "Are there words in English that have all five vowels? Surely, right? So, how many of them are there?" I asked my mum if she knew and she said no, so together we got to thinking about it. After sifting through countless words, I finally came upon gelatinous. I was quite happy with this finding and resolved that it would be my first entry here.

Facetious - The more observant of you may notice that this word meets the criterion of the thinking exercise from the last point, which is precisely why it comes next. It's almost better, because it's one of the few words in which not only are all five vowels present, but they also appear in order! How cool is that? (Disclaimer: I got this one from Oxford Dictionaries rather than thinking of it myself, sadly.)

Coward - It's a wonderful insult and it sounds just perfect in a Northern Irish accent.

Regardless and Nevertheless - These are on the list by the same token as each other: they sound fantastic and are very helpful replacements when I begin to say anyway too much. I do this a lot. Also very useful in writing.

Purfle - Definition: an ornamental border. I came across this while reading Sir Thomas Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur, in which it was used in a threatening letter. I love it. (The word, not the book. The book made me hate Arthur and for that I will never forgive it.)

Quiz - It won me a game of Scrabble when I got it onto a triple word tile.

Archaic, Dilapidated, Antiquated, of a Bygone Age, Time-Worn, Decaying - Some of the very many better words than 'old' that actually mean something. Don't get me wrong, sometimes 'old' is a perfectly reasonable word to use, but why not use one of these beauties instead sometimes?

Puggle - THIS IS THE ACTUAL WORD YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO USE WHEN DISCUSSING A BABY ECHIDNA AND IT'S THE BEST THING! It's like a puppy, but cuter. See? It's a little adorable alien!



(And yes, I know that Puggle is also what people call a Pug and Beagle cross, but really, which do you prefer? A mutt puppy or that sweet thing? ... Ahem. Maybe don't answer that.)

Vraisemblablement - I'm learning French and this is my favourite word so far. I mean, look at it. It's glorious. Definition: in all likelihood. We use three words to say what they say in one, but I'm pretty certain both take the same amount of time to say.

Exchequer - Definition: treasury, particularly in a kingdom. This gets into my love for etymology. The word comes from the fact that the people who used to deal with the accounts (presumably in France) would do it on a tablecloth that had a checked pattern because it was easy to keep organised. Thus, 'exchequer', 'cheque' ('check' if you're American) and the game of Checkers all have the same roots! English is fascinating!

Irksome, Irritating, Vexing, Infuriating, Provoking - Very good substitutes for 'annoying', just in case you or your characters have younger siblings you ever need to describe.

Conundrum - It sounds cool. Also, characters in books often encounter conundrums (should be conundra, really, but apparently it's not anymore) and never name them as such. I think this is a shame. We as the Writing Mafia should do our part to rectify it.

What are some of your favourite words? Do you like mine? Do you agree that puggles are adorable aliens?


-Jo
Soli Deo Gloria
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