Every time I write a blog, someone invariably comments: “I can hear your voice in my head as I’m reading, Mackie.” Well, I should hope so. If you heard, say, Brenda Vaccaro, well, that would be weird, eh?
Other people recognize my musings simply by my choppy semantics, my start-and-stop-and-start-again wordsmithing—or my love—and overuse of—you guessed it!—the em dash. But looking back over more than a decade of blogging, I realize I’m a proponent of several words I seem to use repeatedly. Most are adjectives—gratuitously and overzealously placed. Here now are some of my all-time faves (in oh-so random order):
10) Lurid. adjective (used to present vividly shocking or sensational terms in explicit details or of a sexual nature)
I use lurid (and occasionally “salacious”) to describe just about anything that’s not boring or vanilla. It’s a perfect word to describe my friends’ slut-astic behavior or my love of true crime TV. Actually, it’s just a perfect word. Full stop.
9) Words with -monger. combining form (a person who promotes a specified activity, situation, or feeling, especially one that is undesirable or discreditable)
Why use a Sally Simpleton word like whore when you could call someone a whoremonger? Or warmonger. Or whoring warmonger? Scandalmonger and rumormonger are often peppered into my writing as well. Don’t like it? I care not, you hatemonger.
8) Twat. noun (a person regarded as stupid or obnoxious) slang (a woman’s genitals)
Other than the C-bomb and the F-bomb, there’s no other one-syllable word that says so much by saying so little. It’s succinct, direct and—if used properly—always elicits a juvenile chuckle.
7) Bless. verb (endow someone with a particular cherished thing or attribute)
Short for bless your heart, you twat—my punctuated use of the word “bless” often ends a sentence filled with observation or insight. I give you Exhibit A: Friend: “I just spent 30 minutes on the treadmill.” Me: “You’re not sweating. Was it plugged in? Bless.”
6) Shalom. exclamation (used as salutation by Jews at meeting or parting, meaning “peace”)
Why say hello, hi or hellur, when you could say (or type) “Shalom.” When I exclaim it, it sounds festive and cheery. Someone asked me why I use that particular greeting given that I’m not Jewish—to which I responded, “I say, ‘Yo!’ and ‘S’up!’ and I’m not Black. I also say, ‘Hey, Gurl, Hey!’ and I’m not ga … oh, wait.” Bless.
5) Allegedly. adverb (used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof)
Even when something is factually irrefutable, I still find myself typing the word allegedly—you know, just in case. I’m a firm believer in covering my ass. Safety first. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline—allegedly.
4) Oh-so. adverb (in an extreme way)
Because the word “very” sucks. It’s oh-so trite. Plus, it rhymes, which makes me oh-so happy.
3) Zingy. adjective (lively; zesty; exciting)
The only thing makes me giddier than saying the word zingy is typing it. It can be used to describe everything from a tart cocktail to spirited conversation. Use it, you’ll see.
2) Maudlin. adjective (self-pityingly, often through drunkenness)
Whilst I’ve only used this word once, I still remember it was literally the perfect descriptor of a sad-sack human being I know. Everyone calls him Princess Fun Hater behind his back. He’s the antithesis of zingy.
1) (!!!) punctuation (an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume)
I once had an editor who would remove any/all exclamation points from my stories. Recently, I discovered that they had become a reborn-born again Christian (!!!) and had blocked me (!!!) from all social media accounts. Said editor did the same (!!!) to many of my esteemed colleagues for no apparent reason. I’m just as God-fearing (!!!) as the next person—allegedly. What a twat!!! Bless.