Tag Archives: Words I Love

Words I Love: #6

Lamprocapnos spectabilis, known as the Bleeding Heart flower

I don’t really fancy labels.  I’m not speaking of the paper kind, but of the kind we affix to each other.  I don’t much like them because they have a tendency to be overly general.  Yes, we can be crazy one day, but then so grounded the next. Conservative when it comes to running around naked, but liberal when it comes to eating chocolate.  Labels are often so sweeping, they ruthlessly gather up people who might not really deserve them.  And then they keep us from really understanding each other.

Let’s consider the label cancer “survivor.”  What bugs me is the implied message that those who don’t get the label, those who have succumbed to the disease, didn’t triumph. Perhaps didn’t try hard enough.  There’s also something in there for me about a race that never ends, which happens to be true but I don’t really want to be reminded of it, thanks.

Cancer “thriver” is also now bandied about.  (And how is that for a great word?  Bandied.  So light and flirty and easy to pass around, which happens to be what it means.)  Thriver is better, because it doesn’t have any of the end-game feeling about it, but it seems weird to be affixing the concept of thriving next to a word that is so ugly and sapping.

So because as of late I’m being asked to provide short, pithy titles for myself, I’d like to share what label I will be using.

Aficionado.  Oooh, so foreign sounding.  And flamboyant.  Lots of great vowels involved.  It’s also close to impossible to spell correctly the first time, which makes it feel a skosh more important.  I am knowledgeable (another component of being an aficionado) about breast cancer.  Usually an aficionado is also enthusiastic.  While I’m not enthusiastic about having had breast cancer, or that breast cancer exists in the world, I am enthusiastic about my involvement with the cancer community and how my work is helping others.

Over and out.

Sue Glader. Breast cancer aficionado.



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What Pablo Neruda Said

People say things all the time.  Others write a whole hell of a lot of words.  Pablo Neruda, the poet, loves words as much as I do.  Probably more, I’d reckon.  From his Memoir, the last sentence has stayed with me since the moment I read it close to 20 years ago.

Savor this morsel:

“You can say anything you want, yessir, but it’s the words that sing, they soar and descend … I bow to them … I love them, I cling to them, I fun them down, I bite into them, I melt them down … I love words so much … The unexpected ones … The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop … Vowels I love … They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew … I run after certain words … They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all into my poem. … I catch them in mid-flight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives… And then I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them, I let them go … I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves … Everything exists in the word …  An idea goes through a compete change because one word shifted its place, or because another settled down like a spoiled little thing inside a phrase that was not expected her but obeys her.”


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Words I Love: Fourth in a Series

Wobble.  It’s what happens when you attempt to move too quickly laterally with luggage on wheels stuffed to the brim with children’s books.  Similar woobles happen to skateboarders when they hit a certain velocity whilst traveling downhill.   Thankfully this wonderful word is not just used to describe a physical sensation, but a state of mind sometimes.  Like when you have to talk about something hard, you feel wobbly about the conversation.  To tell you the truth, this words sounds mildly Elizabethan to me.  The Forest of Wobble.

The opposite of wobble seems to be slit.  This is a word that doesn’t fool around.  It does what it needs to do.  Quickly.  It’s red hot and sizzles with intensity.  When a newscaster describes a throat being slit (or more likely on some CSI re-run), my stomach always does a little turn.

For those brutes who go can’t for for something as subtle and cloaked as slit, why not pull out a wad of clobber?  Thump someone real good with clobber.  It’s big and bumbling, and very WWF.  Oh, and effective.

Clobber someone today with a really really great idea.  I dare you!


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Words I Love: Third in a Series

Ogle.  Now there’s a great word.  With everyone now knowing how to pronounce Google, you might think that ogle is pronounced as if you simply chopped off the first bit of Google.  But, alas, it is not.  It sounds like “hog”.  Ogle is a strange looking word, as if it should be about something ugly or weird.  It does have a kind of Jekyl and Mr. Hyde nature, in that you can ogle someone in a nice way (flirtatiously) or in a super creepy stalker way (think that dead eye stare that fighters give one another when they are sizing each other up before the match.)  Either way, I love it.

My other word I love that I used a lot this weekend is goggle.  It sounds just like what it is.  Funny looking and mildly Germanic (in both the tone and how the item is highly functional).

Which brings me to agog, the love child of oogle and goggle.  To be agog means you are in a “state of eager desire.”  Oooh, yummy.   Sort of half off your rocker with excitement being curious about something.  It’s a good one, folks.

Be agog today.


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Words I Love: Second in a Series

Glob is a great word.  It sounds like what it is.  And there is something very special about words that do that.   You really can’t say “glob” quickly.  I mean, you can of course, but it sounds forced.

Glob needs to take its time coming out of your mouth.  It slows you down.  It’s brilliant.

Blob is right next to glob in my book.  Although for some reason, possibly because people use it more, glob seems cooler.  Blob did get its own movie, however, and not very words can say that.

What about tubby?  Now that’s a nice word.  Kinda like plump.  Instead of calling something fat, which seems so biting and angry, try tubby.  It’s pleasant.  Like a cartoon character.

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Words I Love: First in a Series

I have said this for a long time.  I love words.  There are so many to choose from, or, conversely, from which to choose.  So, indeed, there are many ways to arrange all these scrumptious words into a pattern that is different almost every time.


Some words are so very groovy to me because of how they sound.  Some poke out of your mouth, like they are rip raring to go and can’t wait another moment.  “Fart” is one such word.  It almost gets stuck in there, and needs to be shoved out.  (Love how that particular word sounds like it means.)   It is also almost always likely to get a laugh from a child under the age of 10.

Try it.

Other words take their own sweet time.  They are Rubenesque.  Delightful.  In keeping with the aforementioned 12-year-old boy theme, the word “poo” is so soft and floaty.  Don’t say it like you’re pissed or you are trying to scare someone.  Say it as if you only have a teaspoon worth of air in your mouth, and the last thing in the world you’d like to do is use it.

I wish people would use more words.   The real popular ones get so tired, poor things.  So maybe try to bust out some new, fresh words this week.

To wit:  roll “tenuous” around your mouth a few times.  It means very weak, very slender or fine; insubstantial.    It’s a great word.


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