Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top Five Words of 2009

As you can probably guess, I love words. I love their meanings, the sound of them, how they look on paper. So it's no surprise that every year a handful of words completely absorb me. Here's the five words that got under my skin in 2009. Feel free to add your favorite words of the year in the comments below.

Top Five Words of 2009

1. susurrus - noun: soft whispery sound; There is no question this word is my most beloved of '09. There's so many things to love about it: the way it sounds, the squashed way it looks on paper, the fact that pronouncing it makes it sound like its own meaning - This word rocks! And, to no surprise, I fell in love with it because of the way it was used to wonderful affect in Gilead.

2. litany - noun: repetitive recital, almost like a listed prayer; Given in the right context, this word is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it tends to be overused as a synonym for a tedious telling of a story or list. That makes me sad; I am totally reclaiming this pretty and sacred word for the purpose of heartbreak and beauty only.

3. eyesore - noun: something unfortunate to look at; This is a word I've heard a million times. But lately, its existence has really gotten to me. I mean, think about it - isn't this a supremely weird term? And yet it's so descriptive and painful and affective. I can't help but like it.

4. fallow - adjective: not used, often used to describe plowed or unused fields; This word also sounds a bit like its meaning when said aloud. I've always thought it sounded like the words "field" and "shallow" thrown together, which is exactly what it means. It's a word that sounds so nice in poetry or pastoral prose.

5. fiduciary - I have to admit I don't actually understand what this word means. It has something to do with trusts and money and blah blah blah. But for such an important-sounding meaning, the word sounds completely ridiculous. It has the sound "oosh" in it!

So there you go, the five words of Beth's year. I hope to incorporate them all at least once this week.

1 comment:

  1. We use the word 'litany' in church all the time :) I love that word :)