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What's Your Favourite Word?

By Petr Knava | Comment Diversions | August 4, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | Comment Diversions | August 4, 2018 |


Picking a favourite word is a task that often reminds me of trying to decide which Dylan album is best.

On first thought the answer seems immediate and obvious. It’s clearly the greatest break-up album of all time, ‘Blood On The Tracks’! No contest. A heartrending and cinematic account of a soul’s tumultuous journey through regret, vindication, bitterness, and longing following the rupturing of a relationship, it’s a piece of work that has no equal. Of course it’s bloody ‘Blood On The Tracks’!

Until I listen to the live-wire speed hit of ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ again. Then that was always the one and only correct answer.

And then I remember that it’s actually ‘Bringing It All Back Home’.

And so on and so forth.

So it is with words. There’s just too many great ones, man. It’s impossible to pick and elevate one before the next comes barging in onto the podium, clamouring rightfully for attention. You’ve got mercurial and mellifluous and fuck and ineffable and sesquipedalian and acquiesce and stentorian and hootenanny and saturnine and oblivion and vellichor and defenestrate and contravene and insouciance—there’s just too many to narrow it down.

At least for me.

Maybe you guys can do better.

What say you, Pajibans, what’s your favourite word? How far can you narrow it down? Anyone who can do like a top 5 is a hero. If you actually get it down to 1—well, you’ll get the greatest prize of all…


(A quick note: When I pitched this topic in the Pajiba staff Slack channel Dustin immediately piped up with ‘Kugelschreiber!’, which is the German word for ball-point pen, and I realised I would have to limit this to English words only. Other languages sometimes just basically cheat in their creation of these incredible, colourful, dramatic words. I mean look at ‘Schmetterling’ for god’s sake. You know what Schmetterling is? That’s the German word for butterfly. Freaking butterfly! It sounds like a goddamn Luftwaffe squadron or some shit. Butterfly. Schmetterling. Butter. Fly. Schmetterling. Nah, we’ll have to stick to English words. They can be of foreign derivation of course—English being the cheeky pilfering linguistic scallywag that it is—but they must be generally recognised as now being of normal everyday English use.)

(Header photo courtesy of Getty Images and the fact that I couldn’t think of anything remotely related to this topic but also it’s Waititi and Coogler, what more do you want?)

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.