Sometimes in my job as a proofreader/copy editor, I am overwhelmed by and bored by them, and at other times, I am in awe of them, excited by them and moved by them.
I love words, which is a good job, because I spend all of my working day, checking and adapting them and a good deal of my time when not working, reading them.
Of course, some words can be a chore to work with. I proofread and edit a lot of complex, technical reports where my head reels with the spelling and meaning of words such as polyethylene, metallocene, polyalphaolefin, styrenic polymers, and monomers. These I do not love so much.
Some words however, are designed to make you feel good/happy/content and fantastic. Just by saying these words, it lifts your mood doesn’t it? Can you say the word, “Smile” without breaking into one?
Some words are hard to say, let alone spell and the only way to deal with them is to break them down into syllables. Existentialism comes to mind straightaway. How about onomatopoeia? Or discombobulate? Fans of Black adder may remember him quoting this word discombobulate in his inimitably pompous voice… there I have just reeled off three fabulous words!
What about ridiculously long words? I love antidisestablishmentarianism and I love listening to people trying to spell it, which includes my daughters!
Did you know that the longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis’ and has 45 letters? Try pronouncing that! The longest word in the English language though apparently has 189,819 letters, and takes three hours to pronounce according to this source.
‘Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine’ is the chemical name of ‘titin’ (also known as ‘connectin’) – the largest known protein. It has 189,819 letters.
Going back to that great word onomatopoeia (which is defined as the formation of a word from a sound associated with it), don’t you just love moo, sizzle, cuckoo, buzz, crack and chirp? Kids love words like those and so do I!
Do you love words or are you indifferent to them? What are your favourites? I would love to know.
Until next time then!