2006.08.11

In forested paludal basins

Comments

20060811.01.jpg

What are your favorite and least favorite words? Any reasons why?

I’ve never really thought about this in an organized way, but give me a word that sounds beautiful, looks beautiful, and has an intriguing & memorable definition, and I’m hooked.

To wit (and with help from answers.com):

synaesthesia

syn·aes·the·sia (sĭn’ĭs-thēzhə)
n.

  1. A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color.
  2. A sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another, as in referred pain.
  3. The description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another

palimpsest

pal·imp·sest (pălĭmp-sĕst’)
n.

  1. A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible.
  2. An object, place, or area that reflects its history: “Spaniards in the sixteenth century … saw an ocean moving south … through a palimpsest of bayous and distributary streams in forested paludal basins” (John McPhee).

I really don’t have any least favorites… If it was worth turning into a word, it’s probably worth being a word, if for no other reason than posterity.


  • I have a least favorite word. Rural. Only because I've never had an easy time saying it for some reason.

  • Brenda

    I said "rural" to my daughter today, and she said "what? rule? what?" I hate saying "rural" too, Piper.

    "in forested paludal basins".. sounds like New Zealand.

  • My favorite word, since childhood, is ... FORKLIFT

  • forested paludal basins Yummy!

  • Seriously. "In forested paludal basins" is awesome. It sounds like a post-rock band name. Or a Boards of Canada song title.

  • Those are two of my favorite words, too! Mmm... palimpsests...

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