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.
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:
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.