I have a shelf of adverbs inside my head. It’s right above 5 baskets of adjectives, and directly to the right of the bureau over-stuffed with nouns. (The pronouns are in the drawers.) I keep verbs hanging from silver strings all over the ceiling, and sometimes breezes vault through the open window and blow some to the floor, where they usually end up under the bed, fraternizing with all the interjections and articles that wouldn’t fit in the closet.
What fun we have, my words and I.
I confess I play favorites. I try not to show it, but my favorite words may tend to roll into life, off my tongue or my pen, slightly more often than others. I’m especially susceptible to this trend when I’m taking notes. My debate flow-sheets know this. It’s just the truth that debate rounds improve when I let my pen and my mind trace the composition of words like ‘audacity’ or ‘suspenseful’ or ‘symbolism’.
I feel sorry for words like ‘binge’. There’s nothing in the word ‘binge’ that hints of its extravagant meaning. ‘Extravagant’. That’s an impressive word entity.
But even though the worthy English language possesses some words that stick tight to my heart and appeal to my imagination, and some that don’t, I treasure them all inside the cabinets and baskets of my mind. Sometimes I wash my hands and plunge them deep into those stored-up words, provoked to laughter because of ‘rambunctious’ and ‘chasm’ and ‘lilting’, and their lovely, pronounced tonal quality. Then I gather armfuls of less euphoric and euphonic words to add to the conglomeration, and I swirl them around like an over-cautious cook, waiting to savor the summer glory of my creation. And although the sight and sound of noble, passionate words can make me smile… only the meticulous and magical rapport between them and a hand-picked collection of their lesser counterparts can make me cry.
Words are the flames under my heart, and my heart boils over.