Monday, March 29, 2010


Back in 6th grade at St. Michael's Primary, Miss Fleming asked us each to write our favorite word on a blank piece of paper. I don't remember the purpose of this activity or the context in which it was carried out, but I do remember taking a sneak peak at the word written by Carmel, the beautiful blonde and extremely clever child sitting beside me.


"Nice word," I whispered. "How come?"

"Cause I can spell it!" she snapped. (I suspect that she didn't like me very much, an impression confirmed in later years.)

Not wanting to be outdone, I wrote "Renaissance."

"Yours is good too," she said. "What made you choose it?"

"Cause I know what it means and how to pronounce it," I said, insinuating she did not. (Such quips are probably what triggered her dislike for me in the first place.)

Since those days I have come across a multitude of mellifluous, mouth-filling words: apotheosis cynosure guacamole tequila fellatio kama sutra cunnilingus (heck, some words sound so good that you've just gotta try 'em) marijuana NIRVANA evanescent effervescent avarice lubricious marielito...and more-recently attained words like propoquery (It's a statement and a question so that you get two for the price of one)...

My favorite word has changed, though. It is far more simple-sounding and monosyllabic these days, but higher in complexity, meaning and elusiveness...

So if I were to get in a time machine and relive that moment at school, the word I would write would be


Do you have a special word? Or feel free to share any word of interest...

PS I recall that Miss Fleming really liked the Bee Gees (after all, the year was 1979) and maybe she was inspired by this song when she gave us that exercise...CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE SONG...


Sharon said...


Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi Mary,

You know what I'm going say . . "faith" because there is so much I can talk about.

Propoquerian said...

I am so incredibly honored you put my word up!!!
Guacamole is one of my favorites as well.
And Renaissance because i worked at a consignment store named that, where wealthy women in their 60's through 80's would bring in lifetimes of amazing wardrobes, St.John suits, Dolce & Gabana Satin pants....even wardrobes they bought Simply for the purpose of One cruise.

Robin said...

I don't have any idea what word I would have chosen in the 6th grade and I don't remember that BeeGees song, although I did like them back then. For some oddball reason that I cannot explain I really took to the word PLETHORA when I was studying for the SATs in high school. I was memorizing the meanings of hundreds of words for this test. Actually, this was another event made more fun by the infamous Shelle. She and I made up the index cards in different colors of marker and quizzed each other backstage during the practice of Oklahoma. I probably have her to think for a higher score on the verbal portion of that test than I would have gotten otherwise:-)

Purple Cow said...

Empathy - nice word, wish it were taught at school as part of the curriculum. What a better world we'd have!

Faith - can't beat that...goes beyond life, doesn't it?

Propoquerian - Interesting sad to give up your clothes? Why did they do that? Financial reasons?

Robin - Now that I remember, I used to sneak in "smorgasborg" in most of my high school essays for some reason. So much so that Sister Mary St. Bernard banned me from using that word...I felt lost without I moved on to "cornucopia".