Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fun with Words

Quote

"PHOSPHORESCENCE.  Now there's a word to lift your hat to...to find that phosphorescence, that light within..."  - Emily Dickinson


I know, I know.  As a title "Fun with Words" does not have the same flair as Sheldon Cooper's "Fun with Flags," but bear with me.

Last week, as I was sitting with my husband in the living room, he watching a sports channel on television and me reading, I happened to look up at the screen just in time to catch a clip of Wisconsin basketball player, Nigel Hayes, having some fun with words and a stenographer at a press conference.  I actually chuckled aloud as he rolled some fun words - like cattywampus - off his tongue.  This so delighted me that I watched it again the next day online.

Words can be fun.  Some are fun because of their frolicsome nature, either through how the mouth forms them or their delightful meanings (semantics).  Words like crackerjack, whistle pig, discombobulated, curmudgeon, pummel.

Some words are fun because of the beauty of their sound.  Phonaesthetics is "the study of the aesthetic properties of speech sound," according to the Oxford Dictionaries.  I especially enjoy saying mellifluous because of its flowing sound.  Cacophony is a beautiful word to say, and knowing that it means unpleasant sound makes it even more fun.

Superfluous.  Shangri-la. Limerance.  Lullaby.

What words do you think are fun?