One Single Word

Last year I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful educator and thinker, Peter Pitzele. Recently on Facebook he posted about words. In his post he tells the story of his father’s favorite word: pavement. His father chose “pavement” for it’s sound, the music of the word off his tongue. Peter had a different take: asterisk, which he breaks down into its component parts, a word which, for him, “twinkles.”

We’ve talk a lot about words, how they help or hurt, provide comfort or cause harm, and Peter’s post got me thinking…

I’m not sure that I have a favorite word, though I am sure that it would be ever-changing. But after a delightful time pondering, I have decided that, for now, my favorite word is: etcetera. (Yes, I know it’s properly written et cetera, but that would be two words!)

First, in the world of constant motions and 140 character messaging, it has a universal abbreviated state.

Latin for “and other things,” etcetera is a work in progress. Not only is it never complete, but it is replete with potential. It drifts off in a day-dreamy way. And with that implied potential, it at once rises from our past, its usage dating back to the 1400s, and carries us straight into our future.

I also like the very sound and feel of “etcetera,” its staccato cadence, and the way it starts off strong, then balances through the end like the plunk and ripples of a skipped stone, infinitely reverberating.

And finally, etcetera invokes my woefully overused  and all-time favorite punctuation mark, the ellipsis.

It’s fun to have a favorite word! What’s yours?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jbaird
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 06:49:42

    I love your favorite word. If I had to choose, mine would be haven, a place of refuge and retreat from a world that can be frightful and confusing. My friends offered me haven in my time of greatest trial last year. The word evokes images of ships finding safe harbor after a treacherous journey. Thanks for this neat exercise. xx


  2. Jackie
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 07:36:17

    I will need to ponder… I’ll get back to you!


  3. Facing Cancer (@cancer2gether)
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 08:35:09

    “Delicious” – I love the imagery of the word, and how it moves across the mouth. What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing these favourite words.



  4. phxross
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 20:28:47

    “perspective”. Sounds strong, but more so it’s my life philosophy. Life happens and the physical or emotional pain could be worse, the bank account could be smaller, the credit card balances higher, the family more challenging, the future more bleak, etcetera (had to say it that way vs etc). Perspective is the only way I make it thru everyday, every disappointment, every surgery (#27 next week). Strong sounding word, stronger meaning!


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