My love of words began with letters.
I was three years old when I boasted to my friend next door that I knew two letters of the alphabet, the first letter of my name and the letter H. I have no idea why I knew H and not B or Z or any other letter, but H it was.
We all know who won that argument so there’s no need for me to gloat.
By the time I was six and in the first grade, I knew all the letters of the alphabet and was learning to read. For fun, I would make lists of all the words I knew how to spell. I was excited to see the list grow, proud that I knew words.
In the second grade, I won the year-long spelling contest in my class. I still have the book that I got as a prize, autographed by my teacher.
I remember my mother playing Scrabble with my aunt, but it was an adults-only game, no kids were allowed to play. Sometimes I would hang over my mother’s shoulder and point out possible words when she was stumped. After taking my suggestion, she’d shoo me away.
I’m an adult now and I can play Scrabble any time I want! I love all word games: Scrabble, Boggle, Quiddler, the newspaper crossword puzzle, and Every Word, an Amazon Kindle word scramble game, my newest word addiction.
I have to confess that I’m not an equal opportunity word lover. To misquote George Orwell, “all words are equal, but some words are more equal than others.” I have favorites. Some I like the sound, some the meaning, some just the way they look on paper (because I have favorite letters, too. But H isn’t one of them).
Within the erotic romance genre, these are some of the words that resonate for me:
Seduction. Oh baby. I could write an entire blog on this word alone. Oh, wait. I did! (See my July 28 blog).
Moonlight. I like the mental image this conjures of the gentle glow cast by the moon. It’s mysterious, sensuous. To moonlight is to work a second job in the evening, a time of day that has a decidedly different feel. Moonlight speaks of romance, secrecy, and vampires.
Wanton. An old-fashioned word. To me, it implies both passion and innocence.
Pleasure. Pairing it with an incongruous modifier ratchets up the enjoyment for me: forbidden pleasure, savage pleasure, icy pleasure.
Tantalize and Mesmerize. I think I like the zee sound.
Rendezvous – I should have taken French instead of Spanish in school. I like the sound and the visual effect of the Z and V together.
Taboo – In romance, a touch of taboo heightens the eroticism. I like the notion of bending the rules.
Those are just a few of my favorites. Do you have favorite words?