Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ephemeral

This has been my favorite word for many years.  It comes from the Greek meaning "only lasting for a day."

I always thought about how much of a word's sound- pleasing or unpleasant to our ears- came from its meaning.  Is it that words with ugly meanings sound worse because I cannot disassociate them with their meaning?  Or is it that the person or persons who created the word gave it a sound that spoke of its meaning?  It's probably different depending on the origin of the word.

Anyway, when I told you about this favorite word- numerous times- you would always joke, "You mean you don't like the word cantankerous? That's my favorite word."

Ephemeral- short lived, fleeting, evanescent- it's not a purely "good" meaning.  But it certainly seems the most beautiful things are usually the most fleeting.  When I say the word, I see a rainbow.  Perhaps short-lived does not need to mean cut off, abrupt, truncated...but ephemeral:
precious,
holy,
lovely.

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