education / words

Beautiful Words

Beautiful words

Beautiful words

What makes you want to remember a word like cornucopia, abecederian, heterodoxy, circumlocution when you read it? ? Do you try to decode it first–Is ‘-locution’ the root?  and what’s the prefix–‘hetero-‘ tell you about the meaning? What about the suffix -ian–does that make it a noun?

Here’s a great word that roles off your tongue–contradistinction. Think root and prefix and you’ve got the meaning, one that translates to your writing with a single word rather than …hmm… How many would it take?

It reminds me of art. So much is said with a picture in such a concise place. The artist provides us with a 12×14 canvas (or smaller, or larger) and it takes us hundreds of words to explain its meaning.

I posted a list of my favorite words here and here and here. These are words that you’ll want to use in your writing. They say so much in their few little syllables. And for those of you working valiantly to avoid adverbs and adjectives–because you understand they are the crutch of weak verbs and nouns–as Stephen King said, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”–you will notice that they replace up to five normal words.

Here’s the question. Do you love words so much you’ve become a logomach–one who disputes over words and their meanings. Or a neologist–one who invents words for a situation (do you verbize nouns and nounize verbs?). You might simply be a philomath–a lover of learning.

Whatever your reason for loving words, make sure it isn’t for sesquipedalia. That just annoys the people you talk to.

Check back for some recommendations about books. I have a few favorites I read to make sure I don’t get lazy with my writing.


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8 thoughts on “Beautiful Words

  1. Pingback: Today's Author | 10 Beautiful Words

  2. Pingback: 103 Most Beautiful Words? You Decide « Jacqui Murray

  3. Pingback: 103 Most Beautiful Words? You Decide | Jacqui Murray's WordDreams...

  4. Pingback: Ten Favorite Words–Part I | Jacqui Murray's WordDreams...

  5. Pingback: 103 Most Beautiful Words? You Decide « Jacqui Murray's WordDreams…

  6. Pingback: Ten Favorite Words–Part I « Word Dreams…

  7. Pingback: ‘Whiffling’ and Other Beautiful Words « Word Dreams…

  8. Dear Sir

    I wondered if you might like a mutual link to my English word website or press release details of my ensuing book with Penguin Press on amusing and interesting English vocabulary?

    with best wishes

    Adam Jacot de Boinod

    (author of The Meaning of Tingo)


    or wish to include:

    1) TINGO
    When photographers attempt to bring out our smiling faces by asking us
    to “Say Cheese”, many countries appear to follow suit with English
    equivalents. In Spanish however they say patata (potato), in Argentinian Spanish whisky, in French steak frites, in Serbia ptica (bird) and in
    Danish appelsin (orange). Do you know of any other varieties from around the world’s languages? See more on


    The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine
    coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under
    and elsewhere).
    Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew,
    such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and
    petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a
    dry spell.
    Delving passionately into the English language, I also discover why it
    is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow
    seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and
    why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else. See
    more on

    with best wishes



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