Wednesday, December 04, 2013


I was reading an interview today about a fellow blogger, Stephen King, who is also a published author. One of the questions he was asked was, "What is your favourite word?" Stephen answered, "onomatopoeia," meaning a word that sounds like what it means, such as "crunch." Onomatopoeia happens a lot in poetry. I have posted the poem, "The Bells" before. It is a wonderful example of words sounding like what they mean. I love the line "the tintinnabulation of the bells."

Stephen mentioned that he really liked the combination of vowels at the end of the word. There are few words in English that have 4 vowels strung together, as in, "oeia." I commented that the string was just lacking the "u" to have a full set. People fascinated with words, both their meaning and their construction, would appreciate this.

The interview got me thinking about my favourite word, which is hard to select and changes with the seasons, but today it is labyrinthine.  The word twists over and around the tongue much like a path winds its way through the woods or an idea threads its way to completion in the mind.

I think that I first met the word, labyrinthine in grade 10 when we were studying, "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson. Here is part of the opening verse.

I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

It's a rather long complicated poem about running away from God. - As I have said before, he works in mysterious ways.

What's your favourite word?

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