Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Five ~ words

This Friday Five comes from Jan at RevGalBlogPals:

Write about five words you really like. Please explain why you have chosen each word.

Perfect!  I'm a word person.  I even have a separate word blog just for collecting interesting words.  Here are five words that come to mind today, though the list could easily change, if you ask me tomorrow.  Without further ado, my five words:

1 — JOY
I presented a paper on "Joy or Despair?" at the Southeastern Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, the one held at Emory University back in the early 1970s.  I asked why existentialists seemed to focus on despair (Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus come to mind).  If, as they say, we find our own meaning in life, why not choose joy?

One of my favorite phrases from the Bible is "make a joyful noise," so when I started a church newsletter, I named it Joyful Noiseletter.

I was so "into" the meaning of joy during my undergraduate years that my best friend addressed my mail to "Bonnie Joy Jacobs."

When my bank got its first teller machine, telling us to choose four letters or numbers to access it, I considered using B-J-O-Y.  My young daughter said, "But Mom, anybody could figure out that's what you would pick."

I like the sound of this word, which is a bit of irony, since the word is about things that are "pleasing to the ear."  This mellifluous mountain stream is currently set as my desktop background.  It's the best illustration of the word, to my way of thinking.  Using the word in another context, I prefer to listen to mellifluous speakers.

Quotidian is all that everyday stuff I have to do.  The daily drudge work.  The laundry, the dishes, the dusting, the cleaning.  That's the not-fun stuff we all must do.  I may not enjoy the work, but I do like quirky Q words.  And I like the little book Kathleen Norris wrote about The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women's Work.  Doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning may seem like dreary domestic rituals to be gotten out of the way. But when we undertake them in a spirit of contemplation, while considering the enormous life-giving importance of feeding and clothing our families, these things can become acts of love that transform us.

At the top of my blog about words, I have these words:
"an exuberant newsletter to myself about joyful things, like words, which I enjoy."
One of the first words I wrote about, of course, was exuberant, whose definitions manage to include words like enthusiasm, joy, and vitality.

5 — IN
When asked to name four places I have been, I came up with this list:
1. in hot water
2. in love
3. indisposed
4. in the know
The woman drawn on that ceramic bathtub (Saul Steinberg, 1949) is actually IN hot water, but not the way we usually mean that phrase.  IN is such a tiny little word.  So simple.  Yet it manages to do all sorts of stuff.  I made a list of ways we use the IN word, here.

How many times can you find JOY in this post?  (Don't forget to count this one!)

If you'd like to play Friday Five with me, leave your name in the comments below, along with a link to the post where you write about five words and explain why you have chosen each one.


Wendy said...

Mellifluous is great. It's really quite onomatopoetic. Love your words and your JOY!

Sharon said...

I love the four places you've been! I think I may have caught a glimpse of you when I've been in some of those places. And "joy" just cannot be overused. Thank you!

Elaine (aka...Purple) said...

I like to think I have a pretty wide vocabulary...but today's FF is certainly expanding it. Thanks.

Jan said...

Splendiferous!! Your are exhibiting such wisdom and love for words that I am smiling broadly. Thank you. Will look up your word blog, too. So glad you posted. It's good to meet someone else who loves words and books!