Picking your five favourite words is a bit like being asked to pick your favourite children…if everyone on the planet was your child. It’s a tricky task but I’m going to go ahead and sift through my bastard kids to find my Fav Five. In no particular order, here are my five favourite words…English words that is:
A malefactor is someone who does harm or commits a crime or other wrong. The reason I love this word is ’cause it was the name of my gang in high school. Yes folks, I was in a gang. The Malefactorz…we obviously added the ‘z’ at the end for effect. I should probably point out that we didn’t actually commit any crimes nor did we harm anyone for that matter. Come to think of it, we didn’t really do much of anything. Maybe ‘gang’ is a little misleading. Squad? No, that’s also a little farfetched. Argh, who am I kidding? We were a study group. Yes, sadly, ‘study group’ is much more appropriate….which if you think about it, is a gang of nerds….so, in actuality, we were a gang. Malefactorz! Study hard or go home, bitch! ☺
One time whilst giving a speech to about 500 guests at a dinner hosted by her employers to honour their high value clients, my cousin sister uttered the word ‘mishaps’ about twenty times…financial mishaps, inter-transactional mishaps, mishaps this, mishaps that. Her speech was written and delivered exquisitely. There was, however, one small blooper…she was pronouncing it “me sharp” instead of “mis-hap”. Almost twenty times! 😂 A glass of cringe anyone? No thanks waiter, we’ve about had enough cringe to last us a lifetime. ☺
Shortly after I met my current partner, we were on our first date. At some point during the date she said to me “You’re quite the facetious one aren’t you?”. Being out on that first date and in full “got to make the best first impression” mode, I wasn’t about to admit I had no idea what ‘facetious’ meant. So I just responded: “Not even hey, I just wear whatever is clean in my closet.” Yes, I thought ‘facetious’ had something to do with ‘being fashionable and stylish’. What a ‘me sharp’.
There was an old man who used to sell fire wood in Port Elizabeth. He’d ride through our neighbourhood on his bicycle towing a sort of homemade trailer with fire wood in it. On the front of his bike was a sign that read “xylopolist”. One time I decided to Google the word and was shocked to find out a Xylopolist was someone who sold wood. WTF?! The word wasn’t even on my dictionary app or my hardcopy dictionary for that matter. I had to Google it. I was like, who, where, how did this Tata (that’s Xhosa for father or old man) even come across this word? I was SO impressed. I really wanted to take a photo of him stood next to his bike but I wasn’t sure whether he’d be offended by such a request. I trust his business is still growing wherever he is…touch wood.
Almost all my education was undertaken in boarding schools. Back then we had no mobile phones. We wrote letters….by hand…and posted them. Snail mail, at your service. So if there was something you needed or wanted from home, you wrote a letter and asked your family to either send it or bring it with when the next visitors’ day came round. This one time, one of my class mates wrote his mum a letter asking for money. We’d just learnt about Chlorophyll in Biology. In his letter, he wrote something along the lines of “Dear Mum, …..I need money urgently as I have run out of chlorophyll.” 😂 I swear to you, that really happened. He went on to explain how urgent the chlorophyll was and how he needed it before writing his Tests. When I think about it now, it’s sad that he took advantage of his mum like that and even sadder that we all laughed about it ’cause our parents were not fortunate enough to receive the education we were receiving. But back then, as a high school kid, it was hilarious. Something we still laugh about when we get together today.
Maybe one day I’ll scribble about my five favourite words in all the other languages I speak.
*just scribbling my vocabulary thoughts*
Written for @Writersbootcmp.
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