Friday, April 1, 2011

For the Love (or Lust) of Words

The inspiration for today's post came from a caller on one of my favorite podcasts, The Savage Lovecast. This podcast talks about sexuality in all its various forms, including fetishes. The caller today from the podcast (it was an old podcast since I'm still catching up), had a fetish for words. Certain long, not often used words gave her an erotic thrill, and she enjoyed it when her lover read to her from the dictionary and gave her prompts to find new words.

Weird or not, I can understand the love of  good words. Now I don't always use them. In fact, I often go for quantity over quality because I tend to write like I talk (at least in the first draft). That doesn't mean I don't love the way certain words come together and flow off the tongue. I've always assumed this was something that writers and readers do, but thinking about it now, that thinking was a little narrow minded on my part.

Anyone can love words. It's this love that makes certain poems and lyrics appealing. It's what fuels many of us to quote movies and TV shows over and over again. Words are everything we are, yet because they're always there, we sometimes forget to appreciate them. It isn't until we hear a striking word or phrase that we remember just how beautiful words can be.

In the movie Donnie Darko, Drew Barrymore's character talks about how "cellar door" is perceived to be one of the most beautiful word combinations ever made. The lyrics of Tori Amos strike me as powerful and beautiful and memorable. Even single words can be lovely: zaftig, questionable, farther, and luminescent are all favorites of mine.

Not all of us take our love of words to the next level like the caller on the podcast, but "weird" or not (and in my world, "weird" is a very subjective descriptor), I find it oddly beautiful that someone out there can feel the beauty of our language so strongly. Or any language for that matter. that I mention it, I feel the need to go read a book.

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