friday five: words

Jan at RevGals gives us this Friday Five:

Since January our Sunday Spiritual Formation hour (or Sunday School) has been devoted each week to the presenter’s description of a word that describes passion/love or something. No one knows who will be presenting or what the topic will be ahead of time! Each session has been invigorating in a different way. Last week’s speaker talked about “words” and finished our time by asking each one of us what “word” we wanted to share–a favorite one.

So my suggestion for today’s Friday Five is to write about 5 words you really like. Please explain why you have chosen each word, in such ways as:

It is a

  • description or attribute of yourself
  • activity you enjoy
  • word that is spelled or pronounced in an interesting way
  • passion of yours
  • word that brings you hope, peace, or comfort
  • word you like to repeat or sing
My love affair with words began early (I remember rolling words around in my head, on my tongue as a kid) and never ended, so picking just five is tough. Here are some I have fun with, though faith, hope, and love (in whatever language) are hard to beat.
  • onomatopoeia: it’s the poetic term that means words that sound like what they are. Think of all those exclamations from the campy Batman  TV show: Splat, Pow, Pop. It’s a fun word to say and spell and use.
  • pterodactyl (or ptarmigan): I love the idea that there are words that begin with silent Ps. I like the silent K words, too, but they’re more common.
  • penultimate: I love that there is a word meaning next-to-last. I also find it amusing how, in the 90s, people were misusing it to mean extra special (It was the PENULTIMATE experience!). I haven’t heard people misuse it in a long time, but then I haven’t heard people use ultimate for best or greatest in awhile either. I love how words shift and change.
  • fancy: Today, it strikes my fancy to like the word fancy. I like words with multiple meanings and fancy has a lot wrapped up in it: imagination, extra special, lacey, like, appreciate. And it has a nice sound, too.
  • word: Talk about layers of meaning… It’s the units of meaning we use to communicate (and boy does English have so many wonderful, precise ones), an exclamation–Oh my word! (My dad says a euphemism, but euphemisms don’t actually bother me), a one word answer to something one thinks is truth: Word!, and it’s scripture, but beyond scipture, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14a). Word.
Thanks, Jan, for letting me play with words.
Bonus story: I claimed one of my goals as a mother was to have my daughter using the word penultimate correctly before she entered kindergarten. When she casually asked as we drove home, “Mommy, was that the penultimate stop sign?” and it was–well, I felt pretty darn pleased with myself.
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6 Responses to friday five: words

  1. revdrkate says:

    Nice uncommon words on your list. Excellent choices and what a wonderful goal for your daughter. Impressive indeed!

  2. Sharon says:

    Fun words! “Fancy” reminds me so much of my childhood (late 50’s and early 60’s) when there were fancy pants, fancy socks, fancy shoes — it was all fancy back in the day when we got “gussied up” and I haven’t thought of that phrase in forever. Thank you!

  3. I’m impressed by your daughter’s use of the word “penultimate.” I think I may have been in high school when I first heard it — and feel in love with it.

  4. sally says:

    love the way you revel in the sound of these words 🙂

  5. Jan says:

    I am so impressed with your daughter’s vocabulary!! What fine goals you’ve set in connection with words. I loved the sounds, the spellings, and meanings. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hmm, I had already “found” you once before, I see. I’ll have to keep reading your blog, especially now that I know you are a robe-wearing, word-loving bookgirl. Some day, I’ll tell you the story of my mom and my friend laughing joyfully at my approach with black robe flapping. Here’s my blog where I play with words: http://joyfulnoiseletter.blogspot.com/

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