These Are a Few of My Favorite Words

Words are things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think.

Lord Byron

 

A photographer is fond of visual prompts like light & contrast. A musician appreciates tones, chords, & rhythm. As a writer all I have are words. But words, when used effectively, can paint a beautiful picture and sing a lovely song. Author Rudyard Kipling called words “the most powerful drug used by mankind”. Aldous Huxley…the man who wrote the dystopian masterpiece Brave New World…said that “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” Over the years I have developed an affinity for certain words. They don’t have to be long words with lots of letters. I am not out to impress anybody, and oftentimes the old acronym “Keep It Simple Stupid” is a really good rule to follow. However, there are certain words that just speak to my soul and express my thoughts & ideas in such a way that it warms my heart. Of course no one single word can tell a story. It really does “take a village” of phrases to complete the picture. But just like a football team looks to get off to a good start and build momentum toward an eventual victory, a great word can provide the impetus a writer needs to successfully complete the mission. So, here complete with definitions and maybe an observation or two, are a few words that this humble Potentate of Profundity likes to keep in my mind’s pantry as staple ingredients in the fun, informative, & thought-provoking recipes readers of The Manofesto enjoy on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

eclectic                                               

composed of elements drawn from various sources, not following any one system but selecting & using what are considered the best elements of all systems

I have used this word often to describe my own personality & interests. Eclectic means a person cannot be pigeonholed or viewed thru an oversimplified prism. That’s a good thing.

 

 

effervescent                     

vivacious, lively, sparkling, marked by high spirits or excitement

I don’t like bubbly people. Bubbly people annoy me. But I think one can be effervescent without being bubbly. It’s such a happy word. Double FF?? V?? Yes please.

 

 

euphemism                                      

the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant

I use this word a lot…and I use euphemisms themselves a lot. Afterall, we wouldn’t want to offend anybody, right??

 

 

flummoxed                                       

to bewilder, confound, confuse

My man Rush Limbaugh uses this word a lot. Words with “x” are an uncommon joy, so anything with a double x has to be cool.

 

 

facetious                                            

not meant to be taken seriously or literally, joking or jesting often inappropriately

I use this word a lot in my everyday life, maybe because I try not to take things to seriously and like to joke around.

 

 

hyperbole                                          

obvious & intentional exaggeration

This is a very nice way of saying “bullshit”, and that comes in handy when one is trying to be polite & professional.

 

 

obdurate                                            

stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing, resistant to persuasion or softening influences, unyielding, resistant to moral influence, persistently impenitent

I ran into this word when reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (a great novel). The protagonist has gone back in time to stop some bad things from happening (trust me…read the book) and feels like there is literally some sort of living force that wants to prevent him from doing so, and he often repeats “The past is obdurate…it does not want to be changed”.

 

 

ostentatious                                     

characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others, marked by or fond of vainglorious display

Sure you could go with the more common obnoxious or gaudy, but why??

 

 

plethora                                             

overabundance, excess, profusion

This is probably my very favorite word. Readers of The Manofesto have likely noticed that I make copious use of it.

 

poppycock         

nonsense, senseless chatter

Hmmm…another nice way of saying bullshit. This is instructive. We can glean two things from poppycock & hyperbole being on this list – I think a lot of people are full of crap, but I search for pleasant ways to tell them.

 

 

ponder                                                

to think about, reflect on, weigh in the mind, appraise

I use this word a lot too, almost as much as plethora. Pondering sounds so much deeper than just thinking.

 

 

profundity         

deep insight, great depth of knowledge or thought, the quality or state of being profound or deep

Well afterall, I do call myself the Potentate of Profundity!!

 

 

prosaic                                                

everyday or ordinary, commonplace or dull, matter-of-fact or unimaginative

A pre-botoxed Meg Ryan uses this term in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail (#48 of my 100 Favorite Movies). It’s a refined way of saying boring, and I must admit that the fact that it might be confusing to a good many people who have no idea what it means appeals to my dark side.

 

 

quirky                                  

strikingly unconventional, odd, unusual, eccentric, idiosyncratic, curious, peculiar

First of all, it’s a “q” word, and those are almost always cool. I think there is something unique & mysterious about the letters Q and Z. Secondly, quirky is usually used in a positive way. If one intends a negative connotation they use weird or strange, but describing someone as quirky is generally meant as a term of endearment. I like quirky people. They march to the beat of a different drummer. They aren’t just inhabitants of The Island of Misfit Toys…they own the distinction and don’t apologize for it.

 

 

sardonic                                              

disdainfully or skeptically humorous, derisively mocking, characterized by bitter or scornful derision

Because there is so much to be scornful of & mock!!

 

 

solitude                                                              

the state of being or living alone, the quality or state of being alone or remote from society

There is a fine line between solitude & loneliness. One is positive, one is negative. Solitude is the joy of being alone…loneliness is the pain of being alone. I get lonely sometimes, but more often than not I happily embrace my solitude.

 

 

superfluous                                      

unnecessary or needless

As are most things in life, right?? Especially most of the stuff we have convinced ourselves that we just cannot live without.

 

 

tranquility                         

calmness, peacefulness, quiet, serenity, a disposition free from stress or emotion, an untroubled state

Peace, as I have written, has a much deeper meaning than we typically utilize. So to describe the kind of worldly peace we are usually seeking or atleast trying to converse about, why not use another cool “q” word??

 

 

veracity                                                               

habitual observance of truth in speech or statement, devotion to the truth, power of conveying or perceiving truth, correctness or accuracy

Truth rocks. And why use plain ol’ accuracy when this word is so much cooler??

 

 

wistful                                                 

characterized by melancholy, longing, yearning, musingly sad

I love this word. I am, as the song says, a sentimental fool as well as someone who likes to reflect on & remember happier times. Nostalgia is cool.

 

 

zeitgeist                                             

the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era, the spirit of the time, the taste & outlook characteristic of a period or generation

One of the most awesome words in the English language, and criminally underutilized.

 

 

 

Language is wine upon the lips.  Virginia Woolf
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