Sunday, May 22, 2011


As a writer, I love words. Big words, small words, slippery words, spiky words, I love them all. Apart from a few that I really hate. Some words are just nasty, not because of their meaning, but just because of how they sound, how they feel to say.

For example, the word 'socks' is lovely to say. It kind of slips off the tongue in a whisper of breath. It's a happy word, and one of my all time favorites. 'Spongy' on the other hand, is one of my least favorite words to say. It's harsh and just feels icky. I don't know why...

Another word I love is 'morbific'. This one is just fun to say. I also love its meaning: so filthy as to be death inducing (I'm paraphrasing there). I also like 'preposterous' which is a criminally underused word for something so delicious to enunciate. 'Wither' is another great word, one that actually sounds like its meaning.

All kinds of words that describe actions with specific sounds are great: 'crinkle', 'crumple', 'smash', 'shatter' - all fantastic verbs that sound like the noise they make. A lot of verbs are like this, very much like the action they portray. 'Sprint' for instance is a short dash of a word, while 'meander' kind of ambles all over the place. 'Tumble' bounces and drops from the tongue, while 'soar' just flies up off it.

What words do you love? Which do you loathe? Why?


  1. I've loved the word inconceivable ever since The Princess Bride.

  2. Onomatopoeias are super fun to say, especially accompanied by spastic hand gestures.

    After watching an episode of The Venture Bros. I say "scuba". The sounds starts thin and crisp and ends soft and fat. I also enjoy the change in tone from the higher register at the beginning to the lower at the end. The hilarious way it contorts my mouth when pronounced keeps me laughing for a while; a great pick-me-up.

    Go ahead.

    Say it.


  3. I like outlines to give me a basic idea of where I'm going. But I like a lot of freedom.l Have you tried Scrivener? It would work really well for the way you like to do things.