When I was researching about the use of words, I found an English Language and Culture Blog, it’s so fascinating to look at your native language (and one that you often take for granted) through some-else’s eyes. Words do have real power to express feeling. Their meanings shape our beliefs, drive our behaviour and create our world. When we read, speak or hear certain words it can stimulate our emotional responses. In fact, some of the most beautiful English words evoke feelings of happiness like Serenity which is a sense of calm and peacefulness.
I have been improving my skills in Spanish and French during the lockdown period. I find that Latin-based languages sound so beautiful, at times they almost flow along. I fully understand how French is said to be the language of love. The English language has borrowed from more traditionally beautiful languages such as French, Italian and Spanish and some of English’s beauty does come from its relationship to other languages. My Spanish friends add words like estupendo and magnifico into every day conversation. Yet in English conversation, more flamboyant language is generally only used by Thespians, Artists and enthused drama teachers. Other-wise it regarded as a bit eccentric. I found myself chuckling after reading a blog about learning to speak English and encouraging the use of, shall we say, more descriptive words. As I can imagine how mixed the responses to this would be!
But perhaps adding more beautiful words into our everyday speech is not such a bad thing. We do after all, have a truly beautiful language but don’t always use it, to its full advantage.
Here are some of my favourites, now I’m not fully sure how I am going to introduce these into my conversations, but a challenge is always good!
Quintessential from a Latin word describing something in its purest form.
Sumptuous from a French word meaning something that is lavish or wastefully expensive. Today, it describes something that is magnificent or seemingly expensive.
Cascade from the Italian cascare meaning to fall. Refers to water falling over a cliff or a similar situation.
Ethereal means something so beautiful that it simply cannot be from this world.
Succulent from a French word meaning juicy. (Cacti are called “succulents” because of how much water they hold)
Iridescent from the Latin word iris, meaning rainbow.
Serendipity refers to something positive that happens completely by chance. It was coined by writer and historian Horace Walpole in the 1700s and based on a Persian fairy tale.
Evanescence comes from the French word évanescent, meaning something that disappears to the point of becoming invisible.
Solitude: a state of seclusion or isolation.
Eloquence the art of using language in an apt, fluent way.
Aesthete is one having or affecting sensitivity to the beautiful especially in art.
Euphoria from the Greek word for healthy, is now used to describe an intense feeling of happiness or elation.
Cherish to hold dear or cultivate with care and affection.
Dulcet pleasant to the ear; melodious and soothing
Tranquillity being free from agitation of mind or spirit.
Who says English is not a beautiful, poetic language, with words like these. Eloquence is surely the only way forward.