Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday 55 & Da Count-Words

Speak these words instead of reading them.
Ignore meanings.

bubbles nipples sparkle purple giggle
noodle google sizzle skittles poodle
percolator glockenspiel linoleum unibrow refrigerator
guacamole microwave smidgen doughnuts hallelujah
gorilla monkey moose kiwi chinchilla
spongy crunchy smooth bouncy slushy
toaster butter fig cheesy coffee
pants beans goose five fruit shrubs

How did they feel or sound?


Words are really rather amazing things when you think about it. They are a few squiggly symbols on a page or screen or maybe a wall. They are combinations of sounds produced by our lips, teeth, tongue, and larynx as air moves across and is shaped by each of those structures. How many millions of words exist with an agreed upon meaning in the thousands of languages and dialects which exist on this planet?

From the ancient symbols carefully etched into mud tablets or carved into stone to the countless billions that fly through our computers and travel all around the globe in moments with barely a thought given to them, words are powerful tools in the hands of those who use them. From babies' first babbled syllables to carefully crafted speeches of respected orators words have the power to affect the listeners deeply.

Words are a resource that are constantly renewable and yet they can be used judiciously or wastefully. People can sustain themselves materially when they are skilled at weaving their words into something people are willing to pay to read. Others can sustain their spirits through the enjoyment of a poetic word.

Words may wound or they may heal. They may punish or they may reward. They may bless or they may curse.

This week I had two specific experiences with words which juxtaposed the lightness with the weight of words. First, I had to choose my own words with exceeding care in order to express my extreme displeasure with the incident I mentioned last week. I went so far as to ask a few objective people for feedback to make sure my words were firm but not inflammatory. It weighed on me greatly. Second, Isaac and I share a love for words. He started a "favorite word list" and printed it out some time ago. His criteria for inclusion on the list comes down to two things. The word either has to sound fun or it has to feel good when he rolls it around in his mouth or lets it finally trip off his tongue. He lost his list but was elated when we rediscovered it. We had fun giggling over the contents. It was the perfectly silly and entirely pleasant counterpoint to the first task. And yes, my Friday 55 is from Isaac's list.

Consider the impact of your words.

Now tell me what words you'd add to Isaac's list.

My favorite word for sheer mouth fun and ear pleasure: tintinnabulation


Breazy said...

I love words too and I like Isaac's list.

Have a great day and great 55!

Suldog said...


Cocotte said...

I totally dig words too! I noticed you had "glockenspiel" on the list. Two of my kids are taking German right now and that language is full of fun words. I'm liking "wirklich" (pronounced "VIRKlish")It means "really"

Craver Vii said...

Verbalizing aloud, rather than silent reading... that was different. And fun. I ran out of breath, not knowing where to pause. (Silly me!)

Percolator was my favorite from this list, purely for the sound it makes as I speak it. I'll come back if I think of any other good sounding words.

S said...


Onomatopoeia, everytime I see ya! ;)

Balou said...

I've never thought about "feeling" the words. Thanks to Isaac and you for pointing that out. How cool!

Here's a few words to try out:


Happy Friday!

S said...

Hi Lime, I brought you some yurt info...
Yes it gets cold in there in the winter unless you have a space heater, which works really well. Otherwise the minute you turn off the heater, you start losing heat. Yes, it's insulated, but another layer on the roof would be ideal.

We have REAL electricity too!

In the summer it gets a bit warm but only in the daytime on the hottest of day as it is NEVER hot at night here. The heat only lasts a couple of hours and cools off quickly. Also, the skylight opens so you can let heat out.

Mongolian yurts were tradionally covered in wool yak pelts which are incredibly warm and keep the place insulated.

We have never gotten so much as a drop of water leak into either yurt. As for snow and wind, they have special roof supports, tie downs for radical weather, but yes, with a wood stove, you could probably live in a yurt in the winter as long as you weren't hit by an avalanche or a huge tree fell on you.....

I dont know about a yurt in Pennsylvania. Your neighbors already think you're wierd! :P


lime said...

breazy, thanks. you have a great day too.

suldog, i'm gobsmacked by that word ;)

cocotte, german has some fabulous words and my pennsylvania dutch subculture has some that i really love too. here's a post with some of my favorites in case you're interested.

craver, glad you had fun with the word list. percolator is such fun to say isn't it?

s, grenouille! i love it. that was the first "mot du jour" in 2 year french. why do i remember that? i have no idea. and how on earth do you say that thiruvanathananphunamathamum word? and thanks for the yurty info

balou, oooh fantastic additions. thanks!

SignGurl said...

I like the words
just to name a few.

Issac is a genius!

Cheesy said...

Cheesy coffee~~ PERFECT!


lecram said...

Simply because it's from my count today... crackers... Jacob's Cream Crackers. The combination of those three gives me comfort and salivation.


Mojo said...

Brillig (and the slithy toves)
Gobsmacked (yes, it is a word... look it up)
Quintessential (especially on a triple word score!)

Oh bother... I could do this all day...

And from my favorite play -- even though you probably won't find it in any dictionary anywhere...

barman said...

How about Everlasting Gobstopper, Xanadu. I know there should be more but I think I am working with half a brain right now.

Mona said...

I know about eight languages of which I can read & write four! It is amazing how words are used in different dialects & sometimes I feel that much of the meaning can get lost in the translation as we miss out on connotations & emphasis!

This is a wonderfully written post. I love the way you describe what all one can do with words.

& last but not the least, you are a true wordsmith!

airplanejayne said...

dangling participle

Beach Bum said...

My favorite word is banana. I am told that as a baby I would laugh uncontrollably when I heard that word. Now I just snicker, getting older sucks at times.

Margie said...

Thinking about it, this is what I consider as some favorite words:

Dandelion - It trips off the tongue.

Daffodil - So does this one.

Staccato - I have the urge to say this with a British accent.

Equilibrium - A word which makes me feel studious.

Opus - A small word which sounds BIG!

Portico - Brings to mind someone or something rather petite (not the Port part but the Tico part) and it's also fun to say.

Prismatic - I also like Pragmatic, similar words that feel crisp when I say them. Does that make sense?

Phantasmagorical - A big word that makes me want to sweep my arms wide open and bow deeply when I say it.

That was fun!
Perhaps I'll stop by with some more later.

Margie said...

Ooooo Balou, I like 'Lilt' too... It's such a soft and gentle word.

NYD said...



And from Japanese:

tsubasa- accent on the ba.
congare-ga-chatta It means: I am confused.

I really like the house of lime.

lime said...

signgurl, it would be joyous to reciprocate spackling

cheesy, ooooh, suddenly i am hungry

lecram, crackers is good!

mojo, what an fantabulously splendid set of additions. i'm rahter drawn to succulent and lascivious

barman, xanadu is fun to say

apj, twiter-pated is great! i can see the critters in bambi as they all got twitter-pated!

beach bum, i am now imagining you as one of those giggly babies that is all over the internet. it's making me smile ear to ear.

margie, ooh i think opus and phatasmagorical are my favorites on that list!

nyd, oh yay! some foreign additions to the list. i remember a friend teaching me the chinese word for trampoline...bong bong tran (of course i am sure i have mutilated the romanized spelling but there you have it) thanks!

Seamus said...

How I feel sayin' them? Tongue tied! ;)

Margie said...

Did anybody say 'Prestidigitation' because I don't know if it popped in my head due to the power of suggestion or if it's been floating around in their with the other fluff and eventually had to fall out... But I LIKE it!

Pressssss-TI-Digi-TAY-Shun... Say it, it's FUN! It's another one of those arms flung wide and deep bow words.

And when you're mad WOMBAT is a good word to spit out with a venomous attitude, it's important to use a lot of inflection on the WOM and follow it up by really accentuating the 'T'... Like this:

Margie said...

I could do this all day... Maybe you're on to a new blog idea Lime?

Caroline said...

That was so cool...I never really considered the "feel" of words in my mouth. I really enjoyed saying them. As for the impact of words...yes they are magic. Have you read the Four Agreements? It's all about the power and magic of's a great book!

Cooper said...

Wankel Rotary Engine

Pusillanimous Pipsqueak

Sarah said...

you are one hell of a chick.

I would have to say my favorite word is road..


G-Man said...

I've always been partial to the word MOIST....

Great Post Trini!!!

Thanks for always playing so well at everything you do..

Thanks for yesterday as well.*wink*


lime said...

seamus, you can say them slowly if it helps. hehehe

margie, wombat is a marvelous addition. i'll add kumquat to the list too now.

caroline, i'm glad this little exercise opened up a new side of word pleasure to you. i haven't heard of that book but thanks for recommending it. i'll check it out.

cooper, wankel...*snicker, pusillanimous pipsqueak? pulchritudinous pachyderm

sarah, takes one to know one. road trip!

gman, why am i not surprised by your favorite word? lol glad to be of service.

snowelf said...

Lime, you are the bestest! I loved reading all the words everyone choose.
I like persnickity and serendipity.

Something about "eee" sounding endings just strings my harp.

I also am an adoring fan of smoothies. Yum!


p.s. I think Sade will forgive you.

Mona said...

Chatta means confused in Japanese? It means 'a slap' in Hindi :D

In Hindi, the extended a sound dominates. like 'Saare jahhaan se achchaa, Hindustaan humaaraa'

meaning, 'Our India is the best in the whole world'

Moosekahl said...

Your words were well chosen and I'm glad the outcome was appropriate.

i would add...uhm...let's see

Fred said...

How about:


Rob said...

Michelle, you are a cunning linguist, my friend! Which reminds me of a few of my favorite kinds of words -- perfectly innocent words that sound a little naughty:

philately/philatelist -- I think more girls should get into this at an early age!

masticate -- I've been so bold as to actually masticate in public!

Thespian -- I once dated a thespian. I thought I could change her, but alas it seemed that she preferred to spend her time with other thespians instead of me!

titilate -- late, early, doesn't matter!

lickety-split -- 'nuff said...

I'm also partial to ribald words. For that matter, "ribald" is a good choice for your list, as are:


How about some great words related to the subject of communication:


Some words describing spending habits are pretty cool as well:


The animal world provides some incredible words for consideration:

reebok (before they became tennis shoes!)

Oh, and don't even get me started on breeds of dogs (and cats):

chow chow
basset (hound)
lhasa apso


The world of insults provides some good ones:


Then, I also just like the sound of certain words:

niblets, giblets

Well, you get the idea. This could go on endlessly -- which is why it's such an interesting, thought-provoking topic (as SO many of the things that you write about are)! I hope Isaac will keep his list and add to it through the years. It would be interesting to see what's on it 20 years from now! In the meantime, it looks like you have received a plethora (another cool word) of ideas for potential inclusion in the compendium. <--- Oh, I just can't stop myself!

Thanks, as always, for making us think, Michelle!

Jocelyn said...

Jinkies, but I love your 55. LOVE it.

Let's add in some "V" words: vicissitudes and verisimilitude.

lime said...

snowelf, persnickety is an awfully fun one to say.

monaaa, you are a true polyglot and i have no doubt you could generate a most fascinating list.

moose, oooh medical words! there's a whole new class of things that trip off the tongue...ill-ee-op-SO-aaazzzzz

fred, "schlep" why did i think of that one? i use it all the time!

rob, does it titilate you to know i have been interested i n philately for many years? i was also a thespian for a while. you shall be awarded special recognition for your most prolific contributions to our lexicon. in genuflect before you.

lime said...

jocelyn, i speak in veracity when i say "very nice additions."

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