The Best and Worst Words
A noted word expert weighs in.
Long gone are the days of being awed by fire, living in caves without central air and talking in grunts. While it may at times be more cathartic to grunt out our thoughts like our cave-dwelling ancestors, language tends to be a bit more concise and pleasant-sounding.
This doesn’t mean that all words are created equal. Some words when strung together sound like a sweet orchestra of letters; some sound like an elementary school orchestra concert (if you haven’t heard one of these, just know that it’s usually really, really bad).
Since I am a word expert (that is my actual title), I picked out some words we should say more and some ones that should never leave our mouth holes.
The Best Words
- Tomato (n): That’s right. “Tomato” is one of the best words. It’s the vowels. It just sounds wonderful. Also, tomatoes make great contributions to society like ketchup, marinara sauce and Caprese salad.
- Illicit (adj.): Any word that sounds like the thing it’s describing should honestly be on this list, but I have better things to do than list every word that sounds like the thing it’s describing (stay tuned if I get really bored on Christmas vacation). Calling anything “illicit” makes it sound dangerous, but fun. Personally, it would make me want to do that thing just *a little* bit more.
- Oubliette (n.): Yeah, I know. It’s a derivative of a french word (from the french word “oublier,” or to forget). But it’s also used in the English language to describe a secret dungeon that you can only access through a trap door. So if you were a particularly dumb knight or you had a lot of enemies and wanted to see them suffer, you or the person you don’t like would fall in it, have no way to get out and become forgotten . Maybe not the happiest of words, but there’s a certain type of whimsy to its sound.
- Whimsy: Just another whimsical word.
The Worst Words
- Chalk: Though great for sidewalk masterpieces, it is an ugly word.
- Gerbil: Cute animal, ugly word.
- Feisty: The only people who use this word are gross old men.
- Curd: Just no, please. I’ll eat cheese, just don’t say what it’s made from.
Words That Do Not Belong on This List Because People Need to Grow Up