Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ugly words wanted

In the book, I talk about beautiful words; the kind that, completely independent of their meaning, are delightful simply as a combination of syllables. Archipelago, mesmerising, incandescent, peripatetic, willow, lapidary, pergola, febrile, vilify, serendipity, daffodil . . . it's easy to think of them.

But ugly words, I'm finding, are much harder to come by. In fact, so far I've only come up with three that are really offensive to my ear: bursary, mollusc and orgasm (or worse still, in verb form, orgasmed).

That last one, I realise, is a bit of a risk - since the chances are, you'll attribute my distaste to some weird sexual dysfunction on my part. But I'm standing by it: say it aloud a couple of times. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

And please do let me know if you have any other suggestions for inclusion in my collection of verbal mingers.