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.
- 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.
- 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.