Word blockAre you a word freak? Here is a short quiz to test yourself. Be honest–no one is looking!

1) Do you have a favorite word?

2) When you’re asked #1, do you have to stop and ask, “Favorite word, as in how it sounds? Or favorite word, as in how it looks?” For example, “egregious” sounds awesome, but looks gross. “Glimmer” looks gorgeous, but is kind of blah in the ear.

3) Do you have a most-hated word? And can it change from year to year? For instance, I’m in a writing program right now, and the next person who says “trope” to me is taking a big risk.

4) Do you know, and even use, any of the nonsense words, like “brillig” or “snicker-snack,” from “Jabberwocky”?

Listtening to music while brushing hair_ humor5) Do you rarely have to say “lalala…dum-de-dum” when you’re singing along to your iPod? Do you always know almost all the words?

6) When you come to a grammatically incorrect lyric, do you ever correct it as you sing? I mean, no one corrects “I can’t get no satisfaction,” but what about “I’m not willing to lay down and die, because I am an innocent man”?

Purple Blues7) Have you ever painted a room a color like “Pool Party” or “Amethyst Haze,” just because you love the name?

8) Do you steal great lines from your favorite movies and use them in your own life? “Frankly, my dear,” you might say when someone points out there are 1,000 calories in that slice of cheesecake, “I don’t give a damn.”

9) Do you ever write down your wishes, as if that gives them reality and power? Do you sometimes refuse to speak your fears out loud? Do you have your own “He-who-must-not-be-named?”

10) Fill in your own Word Freak Truth here. Chances are, if you’re a Word Freak, you probably didn’t have to take this quiz to know it.

word lovers club

So how did you do?

If you answered “Yes” to five out of the ten questions, you’re probably a word-lover, at least.

Six or seven “Yes” answers, and you’re definitely a member of the club!

Eight or more? We’re best friends and just don’t know it yet!

So, come on…share your Number 10 with me!

What quirky thing do you do that proves you belong to this club? I can’t wait to hear!  

betting on the cowboy coverI’ll be giving away a copy of BETTING ON THE COWBOY to one poster today!

28 thoughts on “Best Of: Are You a Word Freak?

  1. Kathleen; I’m such a word freak. I love words. I think they have great power when I write down my dreams and desires for myself and my loved ones. I have often been told to stop using fancy words but sometimes a “fancy” word just suits life so perfectly. I mean when you can use the word vex in every day life you just have to do. 🙂

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Kathy, I had to laugh about “vex.” I grew up reading a lot of 19th Century fiction, so I tend to use words that annoy people, too. Not “fancy” ones necessarily…just obsolete ones! 🙂 I honestly don’t realize how odd they are–till someone points it out. One of my best writer pals (Ann Evans of Superromance, who, as you know, left us too soon) used to get so irritated, and she’d wave her arm around whatever restaurant we were lunching in and say, “Oh, for heaven’s sake! Ask ANYONE in this place what that word is! No one uses that word, Kathleen.”

  2. Shana Shana says:

    Great blog, Kathleen. I’m laughing at #3 because I am sick of “trope” too. I’m definitely a word freak. I love knowing what words mean, especially out of use words. I love reading and RT-ing Mia’s tweets because she’s always highlighting Regency slang. It’s so much fun.

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Yay! We must band together and outlaw “trope”! At least for a while, till it stops being the word of the moment. Kristan gets a temp pass, maybe, because she came late to the party and will soon realize she hates it, too. 😉 And yes, isn’t Regency slang fabulous? Mia is awesome!

  3. See, I just came to the trope party and have been whipping that word out whenever possible. Please don’t hit me, girls. And yes, I love inserting quotes from the great works into my daily life. Cleaned my teenaged son’s room yesterday… “The horror, the horror.” No one in my household gets it, but I can’t stop myself. And yes! I correct the grammar in songs all the time! I thought I was a freak, Kathleen! I see that yes, we ARE best friends. 😉

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Kristan, anyone who quotes “Heart of Darkness” gets to be President of the club, not just a member! 🙂 I couldn’t even make myself finish that book! However, just to show we’re really word-sisters, when I come into my own super-messy office, I have been known to say, “Horror, horror, horror! Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!”

      I don’t care if everyone thinks I’m nuts. For one, they’re right, and for two…the quote just fits, darn it. I couldn’t say it better than Shakespeare, so… (Wonder what it is about romance writers and the word “horror”?)

  4. Me, me! I didn’t realize I knew another Jabberwockey quoter. *muah!* Leaving you with slithy toves gyring and gimbling in the wabes …. (I think my autocorrect is now curled up in the corner, whimpering.)

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Jesse! Another Jabberwocky fan! This is great news! 🙂 Word of warning, though. If you have a son, he will not appreciate being called your “beamish boy” in front of his friends. 😉

  5. eap says:

    I do not qualify as a word freak according to the quiz but misuse of words and especially text speak drives me crazy. They don’t teach spelling or emphasize basic business writing anymore. It’s sad.

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Eap, if you’re lamenting the misuse of words, I think you may have just a little touch of Word-Freak blood in there somewhere. 🙂 It’s kind of sad, isn’t it, when we have such a wonderful language, for people to treat it so poorly? I try not to be a stuffed shirt, and I keep in mind that part of what makes our language wonderful is its ability to evolve and absorb. Still…every hair on my body stands up when someone writes “should of” instead of “should have” in a business letter!

  6. catslady says:

    My favorite word is penultimate – so cool that there is a word for next to the last lol. I just learned the word twerking 😯 I’ve always loved words. I did crossword puzzles for years and now play word with friends. And when reading I look up words I don’t understand. I also was a good speller but with spellcheck I’m not so sure it matters to the young people anymore!!

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Catslady, I love “penultimate,” too! It is cool that we have a word for such an obscure little thing. Have you seen some of the lists of awesome foreign words that go around the Internet? My favorite is the German “Kummerspeck,” which means eating for emotional reasons, and literally translates into “grief bacon.” Isn’t that fun? (Both the overeating, and the word! 😉 ) Oh…and a big thumbs up for crossword puzzles! Do you ever do Double Crostics? They were my mother’s favorite, and I’ve recently learned to love them, too!

  7. Lorelei B. says:

    😀 You girls make me laugh 😀 I Love words, too! But it seems I’m not a 10. I use thingy-ma-jiggy and I love the word Awesome, and will often write “Her awesomeness” when referring to some super cool ladies I know. 😉 Maybe Awesomeness is a not a made up word but I like it! I know I hate a word, but can’t remember it right now. I like focusing on happier words, Nancy has me hooked on the Happiness theme 🙂

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Lorelei, “thingy-ma-jiggy” IS awesome! I happen to be a fan of “awesome,” too. I adopted it years ago from my kids, who now cringe whenever I say it and try to alert me that it’s no longer “the thing,” but I don’t care. And yes, Nancy has the right answer. Focus on happiness! The bizarre thing is that for a word freak like me, hating a word is a tremendous amount of fun. 🙂

  8. CrystalGB says:

    I love words too. I correct the grammar and spelling in memos that I receive at work. 😆

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Oh, Crystal, thank goodness for people like you! It make a company look bad when memos and letters go out with punctuation and grammar errors! I used to be obnoxious when I was on the PTA, because I truly believed it was a black eye on the school if we sent memos home to parents that weren’t even spelled right!

    2. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Ummmm…that should have been “makes” a company look bad, of course! One big risk you take when getting all grumpy and judgmental… 😉

  9. My name is Nancy and I am a word freak. Loved this post, Kathleen! My answer to #10 is that I hate it when people use text-speak “R U goin 2nt?” “Y!” “GR8” “Thx” It drives me nuts. One worse is when people carry it beyond texts and use it in other written correspondence. A friend who owns a company said she received an email from a college student inquiring about an internship. The email was in all lowercase letters and no punctuation and used text-speak. My friend was so insulted that she didn’t bother to answer. Although, she resisted firing back, “R U kiddin”.

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Welcome to the meeting, Nancy! 🙂 Just remember that here, in this club, we don’t even try to recover from our freakiness. 😉 I absolutely agree about text-speak and leet-speak. It’s as if you’re talking entirely in vanity license plates!

      Your friend should have sent her response! It was clever, and it would have taught that silly kid a lesson he/she obviously needed to learn. Of course…someday that “silly kid” will probably be the new Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, and our cover letters will be too uncool to get us in the door. Sigh.

  10. bn100 says:

    will skip over books with grammatical errors and typos in the blurb

    1. Kathleen Kathleen says:

      Ooh, that’s a great #10! I can overlook a typo or two (though His Highness, who spent a lifetime as a newspaper editor, can’t), but a grammatical error really sets my teeth on edge. With all the great books out there, and only one lifetime in which to read them, we can’t waste time on ones with glaring grammatical errors, right?

  11. There are certain words I hate – moist being one of them. Yuck. My husband is completely nutty about words, though. He loves to repeat odd ones over and over, he makes them up, and he loves to curse in French “because it sounds better.”

  12. Kathleen OD says:

    One of the words I use a lot is Factious.. It use to drive my dad nuts.. Word I hate don’t like Blastit.. Because my dad used it all the time.

  13. MiaMarlowe MiaMarlowe says:

    I’m a die-hard word freak! I ADORE when a book sends me scurrying to the dictionary to look up a new word!

  14. Thank you for your post and giveaway, Kathleen. You’d better believe I’m a word nerd! I could spend hours discussing the issues you raise. But don’t worry, I won’t.

    Just a few comments. I don’t have a favorite word or words, but I have a few I seriously loathe. 😡 In discussing romance fiction, the word I hate the most is “redemption”. Call me old-fashioned, but I think romance fiction should be about love, not redemption. Second to this word is “empowerment”; it shouldn’t be about power either.

    The phrase I can’t stand above all others is: “She had no choice but to (fill in the blank).” Which is not only hackneyed, but also ridiculous. She always has a choice. She can put up a fight!

    😆 Yes, I have a favorite nonsense phrase: “Hubba hubba!” Do I quote or paraphrase famous lines to suit my purpose? Of course. You’ve seen my Facebook posts!

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I could only answer yes to four of these so I must not be a word freak but “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn”is one line I use all the time.

  16. Kirsten says:

    I love words as they allow me to express my emotions. Communicate with others and have to do with my favorite things: reading and writing… But I don’t think I’m a word freak, sorry 😉

    The paintcolor Amethyst Haze does sound rather fun! Might have to look it up and see if it would look good on the walls in my bedroom 🙂

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