Logophilia has nothing to do with swooshes or apples or even interlocking plastic bricks. A logophile is simply a lover of words. I love words. I love the way the sound, I love the way the look, I even love the way they feel. I recently did a show called the Bizarre Bazaar. Now, when spoken with an American accent, only Henry Higgins could hear the difference between these two words, but if you pay attention they feel different when you say them. Because they feel different, I knew I kept saying it backwards – Bazaar Bizarre – so I would correct myself. No one could understand why I always had to say it twice. That’s what I mean about loving the way words feel. A well turned phrase is fun to say.
I also love the shades of meaning that different words impart. In my world there is no such thing as a synonym. So-called “synonyms” are actually refinement of meaning. Take a simple word like “happy.” According to the thesaurus you can substitute cheerful, joyful, merry, or about thirty other words for happy. To me, cheerful is more of a general state of being whereas happiness is a reaction to something specific. Joyful indicates a soul-deep happiness, and merry is happiness brought on by a festive situation. To say that they are interchangeable is like saying that bubblegum and magenta are the same because they’re both pink.
In an effort to bring others to the dark side, I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite words. In some cases I felt moved to add an explanation, in others none was needed.
Apparently – I don’t actually feel that strongly about this word, but I use it a lot, both while talking and while writing. I have learned to proofread everything with an eye to making sure there is no more than one “apparently” per page.
Onomatopoeia – Always makes me think of a cute little bug
Ort – a small, left-over piece of something.
Aglet – the small plastic tip of a shoelace
Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number thirteen
Brobdingnagian – really really big, usually referring to a man-made structure.
Icthyophage – a fancy way of saying you eat fish
Chupacabra – South American vampire creature that likes to suck goat blood
I don’t know who made up each of these words, but I have tried to credit where I, personally, heard them first.
Poo gas – Freakazoid
Urpy – as in “I ate too much cheese and now I feel urpy” also Freakazoid
Woot – Interweb slang for “Yay!”
Snarkastic – my sister-in-law’s friend Laura
Crimey – describes a place or situation where crime is likely to take place. Detective Dan Stark, “The Good Guys”
Crivins – “A general exclamation that can mean anything from ‘My goodness!’ to ‘I’ve just lost me temper and there is going to be trouble.'” First seen in “The Wee Free Men,” first defined in “Hat Full of Sky,” both by Sir Terry Pratchett
Splorp – the sound jellied cranberry sauce makes when it comes out of the can. First seen right here in “Of Cranberry Sauce and Chicken Noodles” by Meghan Williams.
Hooker Parade – something that is a pain in the ass, or a situation verging on a clusterfuck. I made this one up myself. It popped out of my mouth in an Ikea parking lot and has found a permanent place in the lexicon.
-Inator – courtesy of Dr. Doofinshmirtz from “Phineas and Ferb.” He makes evil inventions like the Shrinkinator, or the Ball-Gown-Inator, all of which are neutralized by Perry the Platypus
***The following section has been rated “R” (according to MPA guidelines)***
Swear words get their own section. I have *opinions* about swearing. There’s nothing wrong with it, sometimes only a good solid “Motherfucker!!!” will suffice, but excessive use of expletives instead of adjectives is lazy and unimaginative. I try to apply sparingly. The exception to this is Super Mario Brothers, or any Mario game really. I have had to stop playing them when the kids are around. No child deserves to hear their mother shouting “MOTHER@&#^ &*$ #@*# !!! I PUSHED ‘B’ YOU @%#^$*^@&#%$&!@^#!!!” while trying not to throw a game controller through the television.
*Ahem* Anyway, here are my favorite fun cuss words:
Ass – you can combine ass with anything (i.e. asshole, asshat, assmonkeys, asshammer) for a customizable cursing experience
A-hole – The fun-sized version, makes me laugh every time
Ass with pancakes – used to describe a job poorly done, as in “Gee Bob, that bookcase you just built looks like ass with pancakes.”
Crap on a cracker
The -ton collection – Crap-ton, shit-ton, fuck-ton, I’ve used them all. For emphasis you can go metric, as in “I have a metric shit-ton of laundry to do today.”
And of course, all the good curse words also work with -tastic. Some examples – craptastic, asstastic, or bitchtastic.
And this is just the words. I could do a whole other list on fantastic phrases. My favorites are song lyrics like “You’ll never know how great a kiss can feel when you’re stopped at the top of a Ferris Wheel,” from Palisades Park by Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBgaf5gXJcc&feature=related) or “I’m a chicken-fried fire-eatin’ son of a gun,” from Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon by the Cramps.
If you think you might be a logophile, here are some more sites you may appreciate: