Obsessed with words?

I love words.

words-blue

(not only powerful but delicious too)

I always have. I think it’s one of those unknowingly abiding relationships that sort of just linger in your peripheral vision until you suddenly realize how deeply and profoundly you’re in love the subject, whether it be a family member or dancing or music(like in EVERY cliche young adult drama). For me I think it’s words.

When you look up ‘love of words’ on Google, you get-

“logophile”: someone who loves the correct usage of various words in communication

“dictophile”: someone who loves dictionaries

-neither of which even begin to describe me at all.

Firstly, I don’t think a ‘correct usage’ or words exists (although of course it depends on the situation-we wouldn’t want Dante’s ambiguity on an FTA paper), at least not in every single context. When I write I like to think I’m creating something genuine that conceives a certain feeling, not that I’m just using my keyboard as a means to transmit knowledge or information. Sometimes it’s like art, where rules exist to be broken and familiarity exists to be crushed. A single, ‘misplaced’ word can make a huge difference in how a reader interprets the whole passage, regardless of it not being ‘appropriate’ in its place. Nuance can be everything, or it can be nothing. Easily put, I’d rather have my word choices be grammatically incorrect than essentially insufficient.

Secondly, I don’t love dictionaries and never have.

And it’s not that I’m obsessed with vocabulary; I despise having to memorize words for exams. I just love how each word tastes on the tip of my tongue, or the way it looks carelessly scribbled in a sentence on a used page in a notebook, or simply the unique sensation each word gives me. I love words. I feel like every word has its own identity (obviously) and I want to be able to really feel it and control it in my writing. I want to make something that raw; I want every single word in what I write to reflect me and imply my thoughts or feelings, so that when I sit back and read what I’ve written I can relive each moment my mind was experiencing at that time.

I’ve been told that I don’t seem to be afraid to write, since when I was working on essays for university applications, I would just come up with all these different (mostly useless) ideas and immediately turn them into drafts on paper to see if each one would work out. It’s one of the (personally) best compliments I’ve gotten, and I can confidently say that I’m much prouder of the fact that I’m fearless as a writer than any kind compliment that I’ve ever received on the quality or content of my writing.

Having been identified as the ‘cautious’, ‘calculating’ one in the family for most of my life (compared to my sister who is always just head-first in anything she does), I feel like playing with words has granted me a new ego that reflects the audaciousness I’ve always envied in other people.

To finish up my sudden blast of random thoughts on how much I love words and writing, I leave you with my favorite quote of all time, from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”

  1. This perfectly describes me, and human nature in general, in that intimacy/familiarity with a person or a certain object brings about love/attachment. The more I know, the more I (often times dysfunctionally) like. (i.e. how I am still obsessed with my old broken smartphone and refuse to dispose of it and buy a new one.)  (i.e. basically every love/hate relationship.)
  2. Does this have anything to do with my destroying grammar…?!

image creds: thewordchef.com

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