Writers are usually asked one of two questions. One is, “Why do you write?” and the other is, “What inspires you to write?” The former is easy: compulsion (which makes me sound like I have a problem, but it’s a great problem to have). The latter will sound strange. Words.
Words are fascinating, fun and exciting. Words are also something we take for granted because we use them everyday and rarely find ways to relish them. We overuse some and forget about others, like shoes. Some we use incorrectly or cobble together from other words like a broken appliance. We even have words we call bad or naughty and only use them behind closed doors and never in mixed company. Words are like breathing, and we don’t examine them until something goes awry.
Nevertheless, they bring me great joy. I’m a word nerd and one of my favorite books is my thesaurus tome and the Merriam-Webster site is bookmarked on my computer. And because of that, I now know there’s a term for my odd proclivity. I’m a logophile, a lover of words.
An exceptional word makes me giddy and I’ve even been known to write a story just because of a word. I even keep a running list of words that I want to use in a story one day. But most importantly, I try and honor words because all of them have meaning.
Do you have a favorite word? Are you a secret (or not-so-secret) logophile?