Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trippingly Off The Tongue

Some words are just plain fun to say. Ricky Gervais has said many times that his favorites are "ng" words such as flange and whinge. There is something satisfying about words with a strong "g". Effulgent, burgeoning, and pugnacious are fun to say and coincidentally also describe Mr. Gervais. However, an old friend absolutely hated the word fig and compelled all in her presence to refrain from uttering it.
There are people who love words that end with an "eee" sound like serendipity, flucidity, and conviviality, but there's something a little too cutesy about them for me. They sound like they came right out a of a romance novel that sports especially flowery cover art.
Some words just make your face feel nice like moist and boisterous. That "oi" sound puckers up your lips like a kiss. Speaking of kisses, saying prunes makes you look like you're blowing a kiss and mouthing the word colorful to someone looks like you're saying, "I love you!"
And if it's a pleasing pout you're looking for instead of a pucker, try capsule, nodule, or podule.....anything ending in "ule". It seems the "u" sound gives the face a good workout in any form. Ukulele, uvula, and universe do the trick, too.
Plant names are my favorites. I love to get a chance to say sultana and clematis. How wonderful is penstemon? Or digitalis? Syringa and Hydrangea get back to the "ng" sounds, but verbena, verbascum, and veronica are like a little party in your mouth.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Room 101

George Orwell famously created the Ministry of Love's Room 101 in his prophetic novel 1984, where citizens were threatened with their worst fears as a form of torture. He reportedly named the chamber after a conference room at the BBC where he had to sit through endless meetings. Room 101 has evolved to represent pet peeves and bug-a-bears that irritates us daily. If only there were a real place to banish these annoyances, we could all live perfectly happy lives. Some things are already there like rude people, cancer, poverty, and prejudice, but what else could we send away forever?
There are three things I would gladly banish to Room 101. First, toasters.

In fact most small electric appliances I could easily do without. The year I was married, HotDoggers and popcorn poppers were all the rage. We got five of each as gifts and I couldn't return them fast enough.

Next would be sideline reporters at football games. Is it hard hitting reporting to ask the coach as he's running off the field what his game plan will be in the second half?
Or if he will be putting in the player that was suspended from starting the game? No, big waste of time.

And lastly, I would banish static electricity to Room 101.
Every time I get zapped on the car door or refrigerators in the grocery store it takes every ounce of self control to hold in the blue streak of cuss words that want to come out of my mouth. Static electricity; what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Huh!