Don’t You Like Some Words More Than Others?

Words Painting

In the dictionary all words are equal. But does the English language really need the word very? What about floccinaucinihilipilification? My oh my!

There are words that I like and use too much, and there are words that I dislike and maybe use not enough. I like and dislike words depending on how they sound, on how they look in print and on the computer screen, and especially on how they are used.

I’m arbitrary about it of course, but then all discussions about language cannot be but arbitrary. Language is alive, a great beast with no beginning or end, with no distinct shape, with no distinct color,  a beast that grows and evolves incessantly.

I’m talking about English, which has the largest vocabulary in the world (I can’t give you figures because it keeps growing every day). I know there are languages which are dying out (again, I can’t give you any examples because I am in no mood to do research).

Here are two incomplete lists, one of words I like, and one of words I dislike, together with some sound justifications.

Like

  • And – The great knitter of sentences and possibly the ruin of Oliver Colors’ biography, according aunt Alarna.
  • Alas – Tragic archaism.
  • Peculiar – Like the sound of it.
  • Slunk – Like the mood it conjures, of a cat or woman moving. Eye-candy!
  • Weep/Wept – Dramatic indeed.
  • Floccinaucinihilipilification – It’s pronounced flahk-si-naw-si-ni-hi-li-pi-li-fi-kay-shên and it means ‘the habit of estimating something as worthless’, according to my Oxford dictionary.
  • Agree – Because it’s the opposite of disagree.
  • He/She – Writing about other people is a lot easier than writing about myself. Gives me the impression I am a down-to-earth version of God. I don’t mean Jesus.
  • Misfortune – Goes well with alas.
  • Misadventure – Amusing.
  • Amusing – More elegant than funny.

Dislike

  • Very – Overuse.
  • Love – Overused. Nowadays one hears the same person say “I love WordPress. I love coffee. I love my wife.” Poor wife! He loves her about as much as he loves coffee and WordPress!
  • Naturally , Fortunately , Unfortunately and the like – Reputed sources have told me that I should be wary of adverbs.
  • Rape – Use this word online and everyone starts looking cross at you, even if you’re not guilty.
  • Chilin’ – Such misfortune!
  • Fuck – Where’s all the love gone?
  • Cuz – Petulant girls use it, and they add to it “… I can.”
  • Disagree – To disagree is to have an opinion, and frankly I don’t know what to believe anymore. I am a cloud, the wind blows me hither and thither.
  • But – Resembles you know what body-part. I do like it when women begin sentences with it though. (Alas, one can’t do without this one.)
  • I – This boy-writer here is more interested in other people’s affairs than in his own.

In the end

I propose that we turn floccinaucinihilipilification into an adverb and use it instead of very from now on, changing its meaning in the process. After all, the true language is not that in the dictionary, not even that in the bestsellers, but the language used everyday, the language you people speak, for I, alas, am a Romanian boy-writer with a hat with no English speakers around him. My language is silence.

What words do you like? What words do you dislike?

PS: Being hungry, the author of this post did not have time to proofread, edit, and the kind. Be kind to him, dear reader, be kind.

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30 thoughts on “Don’t You Like Some Words More Than Others?

  1. Favorite words are easy to choose, those that I dislike – not so much.

    Words I Like:
    Sang-froid; Loquacious; Insouciance; Pariah; Sojourn; L’Occitane (Which is a Noun. It is a company’s name. Can you guess how it is pronounced?)
    As you can see, I like words that dance on the tongue; words that are exciting to pronounce and the pronunciation of which is not always what YOU think it is!
    Also, ‘Beach’ and ‘Wind’ (They make me happy, so!). And ‘Indus’ – Simply because it is a beautiful word.

    Words I Dislike:
    Awesome, Love – Highly exploited especially on social networking sites.
    Beautiful – Don’t really dislike it but I’m tired of using it and can’t find a suitable substitute.
    All internet slang (‘enuf’, ‘LOL’, ‘gud’, ‘tok’, etc.) – Words are beautiful. Why the need to modify them into something “not cool”?

    That is all I can think of at the moment, Vincent.
    You have an interesting list, by the way!

    And apologies, I do get carried away!

  2. I dislike abhor. Is that a whore with abs? I do not understand concave. His that where you put criminals in a man cave? Is there the women cave and does it have curtains and are they cute or curt? The English language screws me up like a screwdriver which can be imbibed.

  3. Words, words, words. Hmm.

    Like:

    wander – love the mystical sounding, ‘hey I’m off on an adventure’ feel.
    sojourn – simply poetic.
    verse – better than saying “lines”
    wilderness – we don’t use this often enough!
    dust – because everything returns to dust
    silhouette – just pretty.
    sylvan – ‘forest/of the forest’ … rather elvish, no?
    footfall – poetic too.
    perilous – sounds infinitely better than ‘dangerous’

    Dislike:

    very – Overused.
    cry – sounds childish.
    amazing – Overused. At least by me.

    All I can think of at the moment. 🙂 hope you have a hatted day!

  4. Hehehe… My dear nephew shows (as though there were ever any doubt) that Oliver Colours’ biography is in safe hands after all! Being an adoring Aunt, I adore your words most of all… 😉

  5. I enjoy this topic greatly. (Oops, forgive the adverb). I feel that the use of one word over another has most to do with being true to one’s voice. I subscribe to the Webster’s word of the day podcast, and every time they share I word that I enjoy, I save it to my device, in case I might one day decide to use it. Most of those words, I think would make me disingenuous were I to use them in my writing.
    I’m still awaiting the opportunity to use the word “inselberg”.

    1. About word choice and voice, I agree (wholeheartedly).

      ‘Inselberg – an isolated hill, knob, ridge, outcrop, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain.’

  6. Oddly, I have always disliked the word “blog.” And “vlog.” They just sound like variations on the word bog, which brings to mind swamps and fog. Yes, I’m weird 🙂

  7. hmm. lets see

    words I like

    beginning- like a whole new adventure

    supercalifragalisticexspialadotious- because i can spell it

    and I agree Peculiar –I also Like the sound of it.

    mystery-cuz its a..well…mystery

    courage- makes me feel strong

    dont think I am crazy but I like the word pencil-not realy sure why

    words I dont like

    words that are not real- like cuz, ain’t, shisint, cray-cray, cunfuzzed

    cuz-because it make people sound silly instead of cool(yes I know I used it above =s)

    busy-it makes everyone sound BUSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    again no im not crazy but I also dislike the word pen- people only use them because thy think they dont make mistakes then you see cross outs haha lol =)

    Yep and that is my list
    check out my blog at sweetlilyrose =)

  8. My favorite word is fortnight. I work at a library and some of our collection are 14 day items, and I try to use fortnight often. The majority of the patrons don’t get it, so this makes it a challenge.

    1. Oh I guess I should say a word I dislike, too.
      Literally is far too overused, not to mention people don’t use the word correctly.

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