Word Wisdom: The Beauty of Words

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Word Wisdom
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m slowly coming down off my high of just seeing The Avengers. I’ll give you three reasons why you need to watch it right now:

  1. It had the highest grossing domestic opening weekend…EVER.
  2. Shawarma.
  3. The Hulk.

If you’re interested, here are some great reviews for the movie:

Jessica O’Neal

Ddog from Gamerscene

Jimmy from Hypable

So, because my head is still swimming with men in leotards and giant explosions, I’m going to keep this post fairly short and sweet. I read an article that said language experts generally agree that “cellar door” is the most beautiful sounding phrase in the English language.

Um, what??

Readers over at Dictionary.com didn’t really agree either. The word they chose was “serendipity,” I can’t really argue with that. I think “serenity” flows a little better, though. But that may be because I just finished Firefly (*sniff*).

There were some other interesting choices, too. But what I really want to know is this: What do you think is the most beautiful word in the English language? (You can explain why for bonus points!)

  1. Julie Frayn says:

    When I saw your tweet asking what the most beautiful word in the English language is, my first thought was “serendipitous” – I love that word. It is beautiful and fun and playful. Even though it is five syllables and a bit acrobatic, it rolls of the tongue with ease. Serendipity will do :). That should be a hair gel, serendipity do. Update of the old dippity-do from the 60s and 70s. Hah…

    Cellar door? That is more creepy than beautiful.

    For other reasons, the most beautiful words are family, love, and children.

    • Karen Rought says:

      I think “serendipitous” sounds a lot better than “serendipity.” There are too many stops in the second word – the first one sort of rolls off the tongue better. I think the connotation of the word is just as important as the word itself, and that’s why a lot of people didn’t like “cellar door.” It is creep-tastic, isn’t it? And I love your last three choices. They definitely should be front-runners. 🙂

  2. Juliana Haygert says:

    I can’t! I want to, but I can’t!
    I just moved to the US right? And I have a 4yo (almost 5) … I still don’t know anyone that well to leave her with and go to the movies … *cry* lol

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Does your child like superheroes Juliana? There were plenty of children in the theater when we went. Go to an early show. I know a year can make a big difference at that age, but my six-year-old loved it. She clapped every time Thor came on the screen. She has a crush. The little boy next to me (not ours) was really into it as well. We’re going to go see it again without the kid commentary. 😀

      • Juliana Haygert says:

        LOL well, that’s an idea. I’ll think about it. The only thing holding me back is that it might be a little too violent for her …

        • Karen Rought says:

          Aw, Juliana. I hope you get the chance! I don’t have any kids, so I wouldn’t be able to give any sort of advice about the level of violence and if it’s suitable. Maybe you’ll just have to wait for the DVD then. It’ll be worth it!

  3. Debra Kristi says:

    I think I have to agree with you, Karen. I like Serenity, and not just because it comes from a kick-ass movie/television show (firefly). But because it means tranquility and peace. Wonderful things I can never get enough of.

  4. ddog13 says:

    Thanks for the shout out! I understand your high. Keep a paper bag at hand to use for hyperventilation and you should be OK. Cellar door isn’t in any way a smooth or beautiful phrase…Placebo is a very smooth word. Beautiful? Maybe not so much. Interesting topic.

  5. Stacy Green says:

    Loved The Avengers. Completely exceeded my expectations, and they were high.

    Cellar door? Really? I’d have to go with serendipitous. Or Nutella. That’s a beautiful word in its own right;)

    • Karen Rought says:

      My expectations were quite high too, Stacy! I love it when that happens.

      I like “serendipitous” too. Nutella, ha! I’ve never had the stuff, but I heard it’s like heaven.

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