Autumn in New York, by blmiers2 / Courtesy of flickr

Words I Love: November Edition

There are a lot of words I just really love. I thought it might be fun to highlight a few of them here and there, why I like it, what I like about it, how I want to use it (or, maybe, why I don’t use it).

There’s really just something incredibly special about finding the right word at the right moment. The word makes the sentence, I think. There are a lot of times I know there’s a better word, a word that would evoke the exact image, sense, or emotion that I’m trying to get across, and it just escapes me. That’s one of the many things I’m working on with my writing. I want my words to matter.

Here are my top 5 words this November.

Autumnal

adjective: 1. belonging to or suggestive of autumn; produced or gathered in autumn :
autumnal colors. 2. past maturity or middle life.
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It’s probably because I love the smells and colors associated with autumn that I like this word. That and the way it sounds. Go ahead: say it out loud. Au-tum-nal. Nice hard sounds that fade off at the end. I have to admit that I didn’t know the second definition of the word until I looked it up for this post. Now I want to use the second definition because it’s too cliche to use it to describe something from this season.

Titillate

verb: 1. to excite or arouse agreeably. 2. to tickle; excite a tingling or itching sensation in, as by touching or stroking lightly.
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There’s no good reason for liking this word except that I like this word. It’s always a little awkward to try and use though, so we’ll see if I ever do.

Eclectic

adjective: 1. selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. 4. noting or pertaining to works of architecture, decoration, landscaping, etc., produced by a certain person or during a certain period, that derive from a wide range of historic styles, the style in each instance often being chosen for its fancied appropriateness to local tradition, local geography, the purpose to be served, or the cultural background of the client.
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Well, that’s a lot of definition for eclectic when usually all I use it for is to describe either my reading tastes or music tastes. I’d love to figure out how to use it for that final definition, though I’ve now read it about four times and I’m still unsure what it’s saying.

Balderdash

noun: 1. senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense. 2. (Obsolete.) a muddled mixture of liquors.
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What a fun word! Seriously, I adore the word balderdash because it sounds just like what it means. The problem is that I can only hear it in the voice of an older Englishman, and I don’t have any of those in my novels right now, so unfortunately that probably means I won’t be using it any time soon. Of course, I could revive my London-during-WWII novel and stick it in there. Or I can find some way to get in that obsolete definition of the word and mess with everyone.

Indubitably

adjective: 1. that cannot be doubted; patently evident or certain; unquestionable.
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Included because I love quoting Mary Poppins when she says Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards, then says, “But that’s going a bit too far, don’t you think?” and Bert says, “Indubitably.”

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