I love words. Only, it seems that loving them and keeping them handy are two different things. If you don’t use it, you lose it and all that. When I was younger, I used to write a lot… maybe not well, but I still had a pretty good command of a wide vocabulary. Nowadays, though, I find myself reaching for the perfect word that seems just beyond my grasp more often than not. I find it frustrating, and will sometimes just put stuff aside because of it. Nothing to do with age, I’m sure.
Sometimes words catch on, and then they seem to be used all the time, and everywhere. I remember a time (might still be the case, in fact) where when you read a romance novel by any author, if the female character had emotions, they were sure to be “roiling”. Online it was also almost impossible to escape the word “meme” for a while there.
Anyway, with the various projects starting that concern writing, (and the everyday excellent writing going on) I thought it would be fun to re-introduce ourselves to old favorites, or to learn new words and phrases from each other. Of course, there are always dictionaries and thesauruses… (thesauri?) but they lack the personal touch.
My offering is below.
quintessence (kwin-TES-ens) noun
1. The fifth and highest element after air and earth and fire and water; was believed to be the substance composing all heavenly bodies
2. The pure, concentrated essence.
3. Most perfect embodiment of something.
also, the more familiar form: quintessential.
Not a new or very exciting word, but not one I use often, for some reason.
In addition to just words, there are phrases both in English and other languages, as well as regional ones, that are fun to use.
So, what have you got? A word that opens up endless possibilities for you? A turn of a phrase that seems like magic (but which is really usually the result of very hard work)? A good diary title?
Play along and help make the BooTrib the quintessence of good writing, research and investigative, collaborative journalism ;).