I have a thing for words. I’ve written about terrible words, annoying words, more annoying words, even more annoying words, happy words, and even difficult-to-spell words. Words are awesome.
Wait a minute. I just said “awesome”–which is one of our culture’s most overused, filler, meaningless words right now. Honestly, I probably say “awesome” way too often–and if I actually thought about what the word meant, I wouldn’t say it near as much.
Here’s an uncensored, profanity-laced rant from Louis C.K. about how we waste words like awesome. Sorry for the profanity, but it’s spot on. Read more
It’s definitely not “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
So what is the world’s trickiest tongue-twister?
According to MIT researcher Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (speaking of tongue twisters), the world’s trickiest tongue-twister is this:
One of the things I love about The Grapes of Wrath? The dialogue.
It’s filled with slang and colloquialisms, and it can be difficult to read at times, but it feels right. I can hear the characters speaking when I read it. That’s much different than, say, Gone With the Wind–where the dialogue seemed over-the-top and goofy–and Neuromancer–where the dialogue seemed artificial and stilted.
Within conversations throughout The Grapes of Wrath, you’ll want to pay close attention to some of the word choices and terminology. Steinbeck included quite a few funny terms that I had never heard of before reading this book.
Some examples (with definitions from Clifs Notes):
Every now and then on this blog, we’ll step out of the world of books and into a world that makes the world of books possible. That would be the world of words. Words.
We’ve talked about annoying words and disgusting words and even pleasant words. And, of course, since this is an English-speaking blog, I focus on English words.
Today, let’s take a look at impossible-to-spell words. Or at least words that I find impossible to spell.
These aren’t words like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis or even floccinaucinihilipilification (both actual words) that I couldn’t be expected to spell if you gave me 24 hours and one of those wild-eyed spelling bee kids, like this girl, as a tutor.
These are simple words, words that we’ve heard and written all our lives. But for some reason, these words are the bane of my spelling existence. I simply can’t put the letters in the right order.
I like words. Some words, though, are gross. In fact, we talked about disgusting words a couple of weeks ago.
But the English language, fortunately, is not only comprised of nastiness. Yes, it does indeed have some beautiful words that either flow off the tongue or bring humor to the part of the brain that deals with humor (I’m not a science major, so work with me here).
With that in mind, today I present to you five words that make me smile. May we begin?
I have a friend who hates the word “moist.”
It’s true. You may ask, “Hey Robert, what does the word ‘moist’ have to do with your 101 Book project?”
Great question, to which I would answer, “Hey there. Absolutely nothing.”
But, truthfully, this blog is not just about the 101 books. It’s about reading words. Yes, I read words. Lots of words. And then I sit down and write words about the words I just read. It gets a little wordy up in here.
So, with all that in mind, I thought I’d list my 5 least favorite words today. These are the words that make me cringe, twinge, squirm and scream. Sometimes, their usage might raise the hairs on my arms.
If any of these words appear in any of the 101 books, you can count on me automatically excluding that book from the top 10 in my rankings. That’s just how I roll, to borrow a cliche’.
Curious? Here are my least favorite words.