5 Favorite Words

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alancleaver_2000 / Fot­er

I think most peo­ple have at least one favorite word.  Writ­ers prob­a­bly have sev­er­al.  I thought it would be fun to share five of my favorite words.

1. hubris — extreme pride or arro­gance

I can’t say for cer­tain why this word appeals to me, except to say that it feels good in my mouth.  The word hubris has a bal­anced feel with only two syl­la­bles and that love­ly long “u”.  The word also sounds sort of sophis­ti­cat­ed.  It’s a rel­a­tive­ly small suc­cinct word, used to say some­thing huge.

I rarely use this word lest it be turned around and used against me.  I’ve been accused of hubris, not hubris but arro­gance, but I say it’s just not true.  In my case it’s con­fi­dence.  Right.

mat- / Fot­er

2. obfus­cate — to make obscure; to make unin­tel­li­gi­ble

I think the first time I heard this word was while watch­ing X-Files…um, prob­a­bly 15 or so years ago.  I haven’t for­got­ten this word or its mean­ing since then.  Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I rarely have a chance to use it.  I mean, how many peo­ple go around say­ing, “I’ve been try­ing to find out who ate the last cook­ie but the kids keep obfus­cat­ing the truth.”?

3. vati­c­i­nate — to fore­tell, proph­esy

I recent­ly used this word in a short sto­ry that I was writ­ing with a part­ner.  I was asked to change the word to some­thing else so that the read­ers wouldn’t be annoyed by my using words too dif­fi­cult to under­stand.  Besides hat­ing to “dumb down” my writ­ing I loathed the idea of remov­ing it.  It has crisp, sharp, equal­ly bal­ance syl­la­bles and it sounds cool.  Don’t you think?

4. The ter­ra triplette:

Mas­si­mo Valiani / Fot­er

ter­ra — the plan­et Earth (most­ly in sci­ence fic­tion); ter­ri­to­ry; land

ter­raform —  hypo­thet­i­cal process of delib­er­ate­ly mod­i­fy­ing its atmos­phere, tem­per­a­ture, sur­face­to­pog­ra­phy or ecol­o­gy to be sim­i­lar to the bios­phere of Earth, in order to make it hab­it­able by humans (wikipedia).  For more on this one, check out Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

ter­rafir­ma - sol­id earth

When I hear the word ter­ra I envi­sion red clay earth.  Not sure why.  As for oth­er rea­sons I like these words…well, I guess the con­nec­tion to sci­ence fic­tion.  Do I need to say any­thing else on the mat­ter?

5.  acqui­esce — to sub­mit with­out protest

Ah, well, this is some­thing I do rarely, and not eas­i­ly when I do.  But I can’t deny lik­ing when oth­ers acqui­esce.  Just jok­ing.  Kin­da.  I do like the sound of the soft con­so­nants and despite a ten­den­cy to be some­what stub­born I would like to be a more com­pli­ant easy going sort.  If noth­ing else, this word gives me some­thing to work for.

What are some of your favorite words?  Leave them in the com­ment box below.  Don’t for­get to tell me why you like your favorite words.