All about the words.

So the other day in hospital, where many of my best stories occur, I was asked while waiting for some exciting blood forms to be filled out what my favourite word is.
And my mind went blank.
My first thought that fell onto the thick white snow inside my mind was 'what kind of writer am I if I can't think of my favourite word?!'
I've since come to the conclusion that I couldn't think of a word at that moment because I was put on the spot; I'm so awful when put on the spot! I panic and yes, more often than not I leg it in pure, hot terror. I'm trying to get better at it, though, I swear. I mean, if I plan on someday working for a magazine or newspaper, or taking part in Mock the Week's Scenes We'd Like To See round with my fellow ingenious stand-ups (just a silly little fantasy, no biggie)...I'll need to up my on-the-spot game, for sure.

Anyway, I then of course tweeted about this terrible moment, asking my totally rad and completely articulate followers what their favourite words are. I then promptly napped after sending the tweet out (that was one nap of four yesterday; radiotherapy side effects have well and truly caught up with me, at last) and awoke to 20+ replies! All of them excellent, of course. Here are some of my favourites of my friends' favourite words...

Some people (@TheGeorgeLester, @rorotbd) actually said 'fuck'. Their reasoning being 'it is applicable in any situation', which is true! It can be totally fucking good, it can be downright fucking vicious. See?
Hold on, I'm jumping on a tangent – what's everyone's favourite swear word? Mine is either 'shit' (so satisfying, I mean hello!) or 'bollocks' (preferably said in my mama's Aussie accent).
And what about the least favourite? Mine is probably the C word. Not because of the way it sounds – it sounds awesome – no, because it carries too much power. That's why I've only uttered it aloud twice in my life, and both times I absolutely meant it. That's exactly what's wrong! Having said that I also hate it when 'ladz' are constantly saying it and calling one another it...ugh, such a tangled web of words.
Tangent ending in 5, 4, 3, 2...

I realise how words can often be tainted by the sense in which they are used; or whom is using them. For instance, I have an aversion to the word 'excess' after hearing it said repeatedly (always pronounced incorrectly) by a slimeball while he was throwing grapes into his gob onstage. 
I also detest, slightly more understandably I reckon, the word 'tumour'. Even before I learned that I had one, I hated that word. I remember Frank Jr Jr saying it in Friends 'He's like my old dog, Tumour!' (para) and thinking why the frick would you call your pet TUMOUR?! I mean, really! It's just a yucky word. I realise I give it a lot of power, mind you, because I deliberately avoid saying it as much as possible - which takes a lot of skill in my situation. Even now, typing it on my laptop, I'm blushing and squirming.
Also, a Brit's most hated word, it seems...that word. The 'M' word. The word that indicates something is...damp, wet, soluble? A face can become this word if a specific type of cream is used; a cake on GBBO often has an issue being too much this word or not this word enough...y'all know what word I mean now? Good. So I don't have to type it. Or say it*. Ever.

I weirdly love the word 'loathe'. It's delicious. They say 'hate' is a strong word...'Loathe' is stronger, and better. Yum.
Also, 'silver'. And 'sliver'. Both supple and slippery words, both can easily be applied in perfect situations, e.g.: 'silver jewellery' or 'a sliver of lemon poppyseed cake'.
I also find I go through phases using a certain word more than usual, and right now that word is 'excellent'. Usually prefixed by 'most'. Most excellent. No idea why I am loving that phrase right now, but I'm rolling with it. Yes, 'rolling with it' is a favourite phrase too.
Quite a few folks also said 'iridescent'. And 'serendipitous'. Both lovely! Reminded me that I love the words 'descent' and 'serene'.
So I still don't know what my favourite word is. Yes, my blank snowy mind is looking clearer now and that's not the problem. I now have too many options for a favourite word!

Oh also, anyone who didn't reply to that tweet...what's your fave word?
This is definitely a question I'll be asking famous folks one day when I'm interviewing them on the red carpet or in a hotel over coffee between snaps on their big shoots...

*I don't actually dislike the word 'moist'; I just don't want to offend anyone by typing it. Sorry, disclaimer readers. 


  1. Ambulat. third-person singular present active indicative of ambulō. Meaning: moving from place to place; itinerant; shifting.


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