Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Word Play

Valerie is collecting "favorite" words. 

She finds that people have favorite words because of meanings, or sounds, or familiarity.

I told her I like GOOGLE,and ADIRONDAK because of their sounds.

I also said I would check my list of Presidents and list of states to see if there were some whose names were more appealing than others.

I like president HOOVER for the sound of his name, and COOLIDGE, though their presidencies left a lot to be desired. 

UTAH, among the states' names ought to appeal because of the "ooo" sound, but the gutteral "h" at the end sort of nullifies it. MISSISSIPPI hisses too much and MASSACHUSETTS is almost impossible to pronounce.  Our governor, SCHWARTZENEGGER, (gasp) cannot pronouce the name of his own state, CALIFORNIA (choke), calling it "Kellyfornyuh".

OHIO, "Oh, Hi, Yo'", is nice, and ALABAMA sort of sings, even without your banjo on your knee.

Some words are so offensive that even newspapers will not print them, using "s***" and "f***" instead.

But words are just sounds... not things.  Custom dictates what we like and dislike.  Even s*** and f*** are acceptible in other languages because they have quite respectable meanings in those countries.

When Alice met the Caterpillar in Wonderland and remonstrated with him about the words he used, he replied, "When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean.  It is just a matter of who is the master: the word or I.".


garnett109 said...

Oklahoma and  Omaha Are strange, I think?

nyboots said...

My favorite word is "bloomers" lol I use it a twork all the time and it makes everyone crack up

kateh2ocolorart said...

Seems you DO like the OO and AAH sounds best!

plieck30 said...

I like words and hate numbers. Do you know the difference between a violin and a fiddle? A violin has strings and a fiddle has strangs. lol Paula

valphish said...

Hi Chuck!  You would like a book I read awhile back, "Mother Tongue".  It is about the English language (and other languages) and how it has evolved.  Goodness, DON'T call someone a turtle in China or you will really insult them.  I found it quite interesting what other journalers have been choosing as nice sounding words.  Come back in a few days to my journal and I will have them listed!  Thanks for your wonderful contribution!  Hugs, Val xox

desannie said...

I loved this post, Chuck.  When I was in college I was fascinated by the word ethnocentric (I was a Sociology major).  Of course my father hated me using it because he didn't know what it meant.  Annie