A strong, robust vocabulary is a very important part of being a proficient English language user. A rich vocabulary helps us to express our thoughts, hopes and desires with accuracy and clarity. As speech pathologists, we regularly work with our clients to help develop their vocabulary. Often, we will work on less common, but highly descriptive words (such as ‘enormous’ or ‘huge’) to give our clients an alternative to a common, but broad word (like ‘big’). While reflecting on the work we do in this area, I started thinking about how some words hold more importance to me than others. Some are simply more fun than others; fun to say, fun to use or fun to spell. This got me thinking about my own favourite words. These words are not necessarily ones that I use all the time, but they are ones that I particularly enjoy saying or hearing or found particularly interesting when I first added them to my vocabulary. So here is a short list of MY favourite words:
1. Crenelations I first came across this word in my favourite book series the Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. I recall reading one of the books on the train in Sydney and seeing the word ‘crenelations’. I was traveling with my grandmother at the time and asked her what the word meant. We read the sentence and surrounding paragraph together and my grandmother couldn’t tell me what it meant! I was shocked! My grandmother knows everything! We looked it up in the dictionary when we got home and discovered that crenelations are the battlements on top of a castle.
2. Meander My joy in this word is hard to describe, as I really just like the ‘feel’ of the word and the way the word sounds. The word refers to a stream or road which winds along. Whenever I think of this word I imagine myself wandering along a meandering path or picture a slowly moving creek bending around rocks. This word conjures such beautiful, relaxed images that it’s hard not to love it.
3. Acciaccatura This word is one I came across while studying flute and music theory. The world of music has some wonderful words, many of which have been borrowed from Italian or German. This one is one of my favourites to say and my favourites to play! An acciaccatura is a short note, played as quickly as possible to embellish the main melody. It’s such a fun little note with a fun name!
So those are just a few of my favourite words. When I asked my brother for his favourites, he came up with two very apt words: ‘eloquent’ and ‘articulate’! What are you favourite words?
Written by Bec Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology