January 29, 2009

Say It With Words!


Carolyn Kellog, keeper of the LA Times‘ blog, Jacket Copy, has a mellifluous and scintillating paean to the hundred most beautiful words in the English language as selected by the site alphDictionary. According to Kellog, “There is a plethora (on the list) of words whose meanings are halcyon (on the list), even effervescent (on the list). If you try, you can find the negative — surreptitious and beleaguer are both on the list — but the victory would be Pyrrhic (on the list); anyone who can’t enjoy the serendipity (on the list) of discovering diaphanous and ingenue together (both on the list) risks being called jejune (on the list).” She does suggest there seems to be a Francophile in the woodpile, though, given “the preponderance (not on the list) of words that don’t sound particularly English.” You can view the list in its entirety here. Kellog would like to suggest the additions, “copasetic (all good) and callipygean (I’ll let you look it up).” Well, I just looked it up. Oh, my! Those Ancient Greeks! Well, on the calmer side, I would like to add the word “limpid.”

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.