Words are not my tools they are merely the flat pack. We all, to a greater or lesser extent, have words. What distinguishes one from another is how we assemble them. But that does not stop me having some favourites, and equally some that will never in a month of Sundays with a blue moon in the offing, ever find themselves a home in a written work of mine.
First the nasties:
Triumphalism – I lived in Umtata and Umzimkulu in South Africa in the eighties – no, nobody else has heard of them either and with good cause, google them. I lived in Sheffield during the miners’ strike. I lived in Notting Hill when taxi drivers threw me out of the cab and told me they would ******** go anywhere near there and made a 16 year old girl walk where they wouldn’t drive. All have been proven wrong. But at what cost? I will not be triumphant and find the concept and the word alien.
Hate – I can dislike, disagree and loathe, but hate takes it a stage further. Hate to me implies the potential for action. An action that is not designed to overcome confrontation but inflame it.
Most American spellings when used in a non-American context. Color, sulfur, antagonize are perfectly acceptable in an American text. But not in mine please.
Emoticon – What is the origin? Emotion and …. some arbitrary addition of the letter “c”? Quite meaningless.
Everyday, thankyou, alright et al. Every day, thank you, all right. Two words please.
Ecstatic – ecstasy is a state rarely achieved but one to which too many of us allude. If we were in this state as often as it is used as a descriptor then normal life would be hard to maintain;.
There are many more but those are enough to start with. As for the goodies:
Discombobulate – totally unnecessary word for confusion but it sounds utterly delightful. I doubt I will ever find an appropriate use for it but it rolls off the tongue with a bubble.
Occlude – does what it says on the box.
Outwith – as in “outwith my experience”
Excruciating – it hurts as much to type as it implies.
Haver – sounds so much less pointless than babble.
I could go on for pages and pages. I will end with a phrase rather than a word. My father, when asked the time, would always reply “five and twenty past” rather than “twenty five past” I have tried to say the same but it sounds quite wrong coming from me. It is of my father’s era, not of mine, but I so long for it not to die away.