Recently on twitter I’ve been going back to my linguistic roots, using a #wordoftheday hashtag to list some of my favourite words. So far I’ve covered snaffle, oodles, squiffy, and peevish. My absolute favourite word? Machete. Don’t ask me why, I just like the way it sounds.
Words are powerful things. The old adage about ‘sticks and stones’ simply isn’t true; the pen really is mightier than the sword. Words can hurt, can cut, can kill. They can also inform, educate, and even make your toes curl if you get them really right. The evolution of language is the single greatest achievement of the human race for, without language, nothing else would have been possible. As I write for a living, words are my bread and butter. Every book you have ever read is just a different amalgam of 26 letters. It’s astonishing when you think about it.
So I’ve resolved to celebrate words more; enjoy them for their own sake. They don’t have to be fourteen syllables long or dry and dusty to be interesting. Language is fun, and working with language is the best. Twisting it, fusing it, creating something new (neologisms, if you really want the scientific name) from something familiar. Shake things up, be a bit kooky, and strive to say one word every day that makes you smile just to speak it.
Perhaps it’s because I’m just out of Editing Hell (it’s a real place), where I’ve been buried getting Match and my little contribution to The Kiss ready for publication. Now they’re done, I can go back to doing what I love best: writing. I’m just over 23k into a 60k~ project and in the next few weeks you’ll see that number jump dramatically. I’m in the mood to play with words again.