The 100 most beautiful words

Alison Flood toys cat-like with the 100 most beautiful words over at the Guardian book blog. Now I’m more of a storyteller than a wordsmith, and once appalled a friend by saying that words for me were just a means to end, but even I can see the pleasure in these words. Looking at the full list I’m torn between cynosure (a focal point of admiration) and penumbra (a half shadow, the edge of a shadow). The latter wins out however, both on the aesthetic level, and on meaning.

Now how about the 100 ugliest words. Thuggery? Spitefulness? Bankruptcy? Hmmm….


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

3 thoughts on “The 100 most beautiful words

  1. As an ailurophile, I must adumbrate, that cat is blandiloquent. (And I had no idea “zyzzyva” was a kind of beetle. How cool!)



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