I think there should be a twelve-step program for people who don’t know how to un-commit to a project once they’ve signed on. Say, for instance (hypothetically, of course) a person signs on to write a blog post every day for a month and then finds herself wondering what on earth she’s going to write about today and tries to tell herself “oh the hell with it, I’ll just have a glass of wine and watch Jon Stewart” but there’s that little nagging voice that says (hypothetically, again, of course) “quitter…”

So here I am: NaBloMoPo, I just can’t quit you.

Luckily, the marvelous mind behind NaBloPoMo offers prompts, for the faint of heart and exhausted, and today’s prompt is great: what’s your favorite word?

Isn’t that a great question?

I love words. When I was little and my mom would drag us off to church on Sundays, I would sit in the back seat and say “episcopalian, episcopalian, episcopalian.” The way it clicked off the tongue–similar to the way Humbert Humbert likes to say “Lolita, Lolita, Lolita”  Try it.  They feel really good in the mouth, don’t they?

There’s a long ago book from the 1940s, Cress Delahanty, by Jessamyn West, in which Cress–who is of course an aspiring writer–reads through words in the dictionary, writing down her favorites: pilgarlic, rapscallion,verdigris, vermilion.  Those are good words too, because they’re so unexpected.

I over-use the word fabulous (I live in New York, the word is practically a medical necessity) and I’m also too fond of the word fuck, which I find really pretty much always appropriate, unless I’m in class (and even then I’ve been known to drop the occasional f-bomb–mostly to see if my students are still awake. Usually they’re not.)

Words like nostril and mucilage and mutton make my toes curl in disgust, but I’m a fan of bog, and muck, and smush.

But the best word? My favorite word? I’m going to go with Henry James on this one: “summer afternoon, summer afternoon…the two most beautiful words in the English language.”