Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anne the Word Nerd

On my bedside table right now is Roy Blount, Jr.'s Alphabet Juice. It's not a book for the person content to say, "It was a nice trip. We had a good time. Thanks for always being there." It's a tasty snack of a book for the unrepentant Word Nerd. Say it loud; say it proud. This is one of the ways in which the Husband and I are oh-so-different. As far as I'm concerned, finding the perfect word for your meaning is as satisfying as a good meal. The Husband finds it vaguely irritating when I use words he's either not acquainted with or that he finds to be a bit too much - a surfeit. Mmmm... good word. Exact language gives me a little thrill. I'll admit it. I've embraced the Wordnerdiness and decided I like it here. It feels sloppy to me to use trite phrases or blah language. It pained me to write those three sample sentences earlier, in fact. I admire words like: consternation, emphatically, tongs. Some words are just..... right. They ring in the ear and they convey just exactly what you feel, not merely the data you are trying to communicate. Big words meant to impress, don't. The right word is satisfying to a Word Nerd's very soul. It's not always better to use a bigger, longer, more obscure word. But reducing language to a handful of overused words that have broad, vague meanings? That I can't swallow.

And for dessert- more yummy words: tome, elegant, ostracize, calypso, conflagration, phlox, lumber (v.), awaken, assignation, pollop.

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