Certainly, within the confines of what it means to be a writer, one of the most common uncommon questions asked of me is: “What is your favorite word?”
What a loaded question.
Oh, how I do loathe those who ask this of me. Not because they are terrible human beings, I love them all. Not because this is an absurd question that one should never ask of an author – it is a perfectly legitimate question, and an author must know these things.
Neigh, I loathe those who ask this of me because of the simple fact that in so doing, they have made one awfully big assumption about my character. They have assumed, wrongly, that in my wanderings upon the surface of this Earth through space and time I have accumulated – anthropologically speaking – enough knowledge about the nature of humanity itself to have gained a particular affinity for what one would call a favorite word.
The answer to this question can vary extremely based upon a multitude of variables including how much coffee I’ve had on a particular day, what song I recently listened to, what sort of books that I’m reading at the present moment, whether or not I’ve made a mistake in the last forty hours, how the last conversation with my publisher went, the design of the hotel lobby that I most recently bought a coffee in, and the sheer vastness, scale, and scope of the glacial mass that I most recently visited.
Today, and at the present moment, my most favorite word is Stalactites.
But a few hours from now, my most favorite word might possibly be Whig, Willow, Wasp, Wop, Womp, Wang, or Gilgamesh. I highly doubt it, however, because I’m still really thinking about Stalactites. I just recently heard a story on TED Radio Hour from NPR, and in this there was a man who spoke of his adventures voyaging into the depths of the Earth as a spelunker. Spelunking is also an amazing word.
Perhaps the reason that I do not have a favorite word is that I am generally insecure.
Whatever the reason, I choose not to have a favorite word, because there are just too many words.