At Rocksalt, words are at the heart of everything we do. Whatever the technology, whatever the platform or media, we are passionate about getting the message across clearly and in a way that’s relevant for the audience.
And, thus, the concept of #wordlove was born. In 2014, we highlighted words that we enjoy, that stand out, that make you think, or that just sound nice.
Here, we feature a special Valentine’s Day edition of #wordlove, where we have asked people to share their favourites. First up, the Rocksalt team of writers share their favourite words.
Rocksalt's favourite words
You can’t hurry a word like pootle. If you do, it sounds like poodle. Which is no bad thing, as I can imagine going for a pootle with a poodle. To pootle is to travel in a leisurely manner, and that’s why I like this word so much. It’s the antithesis of commuting to work on the Northern line. For me, a pootle is about the freedom to venture out without a deadline or destination in mind. And with time to pootle, who knows what you’ll discover? Especially with a poodle. Just don’t meet a cat along the way. -- Paul
Because it's such a nice idea; it's always good to be nourished. Plus it's a fun word to say — I can't think of any other word that sounds like it. Also, if you use it with regards to anything other than food it makes you seem really poetic. -- Rob
It makes you work to say it. Smile as the hard palate forms an "I" sandwiched between two "N"s, then quickly throw the sound back to the soft palate to make "C". Hum out the "OM", spit out a "POO", and smack your lips to form the last "P". Aerobics for the mouth. I also like its quaint British English harmlessness and satisfying rhythm. -- Cat
The 'ulgence' bit seems to go on forever, like dipping a spoon into a very rich pudding: you get a feel for the very thing it describes.
It's got that in-your-face onomatopoeia (another great word) that almost bowls you over. I love the juxtaposition of negativity intended by the person doing the describing against the carefree, I don't-care-what-you-think attitude of they who are rambunctious. --Kate
Call me a sentimental fool but I just love the imagery this word evokes - bright blue summer skies, optimism and those moments of uncontrollable laughter as a child when happiness was all-consuming. I still feel a spark of this tremendous optimism whenever I hear the word. --Alison
Our friends' favourite words
|Loved word||Why, oh why, they they love it so||Word lover|
|Serendipity||It's fun to say and has a wonderful meaning!||Beck|
|Archipelago||I love the sound, and how it looks. Plus, it makes me think of lovely things, like water and islands, and not being in stinky, rainy London.||Fiona|
|Kerfuffle||I was going to say Serendipity too! I love it. And I love Kerfuffle. I also like Weird.||Avril|
|Smote||"The knight smote the dragon because of his perpetual need to shack up with a princess."||Mitch|
|Lovely||Do you know what? I really love "lovely". It is a word that describes itself. How awesome is that?||Fiona|
|Mellifluous||Just fun to say.||Kari|
|Petrichor||For how it sounds, what it describes and what it evokes.||Kate|
|Superfluous||I like superfluous - more than enough is along my lines of thinking. I like fortuitous, too.||Peta|
|Voluptuous||Throw the word voluptuous into a sentence and you'll get everyone's attention.||Rachael|
|Tricksy||As Gollum said, the hobbits are tricksy.||Verdi|
|Vulnerable||But not vulnerable — I think because just being vulnerable isn't good, but showing or acknowledging vulnerability can provide a position of power.||Lyndell|
|Doovewacka||I love this word. It means have you seen my ? .? (Could be anything).||Wendy|
|Discombobulate||I think it's the 'combob' bit: it's so nice to say! You have to say the bob as Black Adder would...||Hannah|
|Schlepped||Is a great word - I just love the way it sounds. When moving is more difficult than normal - break out the word schlep / schlepping / schlepped||Miri|
|Bollocks||It's simultaneously innocuous and expletive.||Jess|
Music makes words better
When I asked my friends their favourite words, I was surprised to realise how much of an impact music can have on how you feel about a word. I know that music is moving even when you don't know the words (refer to viral video of a baby crying when its mum sings, and four-year-old cries to "Say Something") — it's a sentiment, the feeling, the vibe — but I'd overlooked just how magical it is when a songwriter crafts an otherwise mundane word into the most exotic and eloquent context.
My friend, Mike, said he particularly liked "dithering" especially when used in a song, which reminded of my own favourite lyrical word. Paul Simon gives 'sloped' a new sense in Crazy Love II:
"Fat Charlie, the archangel, sloped into the room. He said, well, I have no opinion about that. I have no opinion about this."
I have an immediate impression of Fat Charlie, one that I find particularly endearing.
Language makes words...different
I can confidently and heartily laugh along when I watch this video making fun of the German language, having spent time learning (and falling in love with) the language when I was 17. Of course, I don't hear German the way non-German speakers hear it. I hear it with a lilt and rhythm that befits any French, Italian, or Spanish speaker. If those are your yard sticks of romantic languages.
Words can make a difference
When a friend sent through a picture of the word courage tattooed on her foot, my first thought was admiring someone's commitment to a word. And then I realised that her commitment must be backed up by a pretty good reason to permanently etch it on her body. We had a chat, and I wasn't wrong: she loves that word.
After having a rough time throughout childhood, she saw a therapist in her 20s -- hoping to rid the physical symptoms manifesting as a result of psychological angst. Throughout the process, the word courage featured with regularity, nurturing a sense of strength and heart, of resilience, that she didn’t know as a child.
Courage became a word that she could use to shake her fear, and inspire her to try different things. It helped her to be courageous in big decisions, such as moving overseas, as well as little decisions. Her tattoo of the word courage is an easy visual cue to remind her how far she has come, and to move her swiftly through feelings of anger, sadness, and depression.
Words inspire action
I was overwhelmed by not just the response to my asking friends’ for their favourites, but also the swiftness with which they responded.
I posed the question on my Facebook page, and it was by far the most responded to post (image, link, or status update) in the last six months, with a response rate nine times the average, second only to news of my engagement with 15 times the average.
It tells me that people have a strong connection to language, and how powerful that is.
Share your Word Love
Do words jump out and grab you, or do you have an old faithful that you love to pull out a parties; you know, like 'epanorthosis'?
Share your favourites with us in the comments or in social media (#wordlove) and we'll aim to share it on Word Love Wednesday.