Over the past few weeks I’ve been trading words with a few friends of mine.
When I say “trading words”, I mean to say that we send each other individual words with no aim at all other than enjoying the sound of the word itself. We’re using individual words as playthings, just saying them aloud to see what they taste like. Some words are especially delicious.
On and on and on. Each of these words is a little jewel all by itself; each has its own unique rhythm, its own resonance. Each one radiates connotations and imagery that no other word can quite manage.
You wouldn’t believe how inspiring this simple game can be. It tunes the ear to the sounds of language the way you might tune a guitar. Play this game for even a few minutes, and for hours afterward any fascinating word or combination of words that crosses your path will make your ears prick.
Possible sources of delicious words: a dictionary opened at random. A book you’re reading. A conversation you’re having with a good friend or collaborator. A poem recited aloud. A line of lyric from a song.
Let’s use the comments section below to play with lists of beautiful-sounding words. What’re your favorites?
(Thanks for trading words, Mya and Havi…)