Remember that smell of baking bread in the kitchen when you were a kid? How about the greasy-goodness wafts of bacon and egg that hit you the morning after a monumental bender that time you stayed in that digs in Rondebosch?
Her perfume that settled into your t- shirt when you slow-danced for the first time? Or the vomit-reek from the gutter outside that goth club in Durban?
Smell has an incredible way of evoking memory. It all suddenly comes rushing back in full, surround-sound technicolour glory and you’re right back in the moment.
Words do the same.
They raise the hair on your neck in horripilation.
They give pleasure. Some words make you wince. They represent such powerful ideas, in a handful of characters.
Here are some of my favourite emotion-inducing words and phrases.
The realm of horror writers, ghost stories at camping trips and every sermon I have ever heard…
- Missing out
- Cold sweat
- Ripped (not in the six-pack abs sense of the word)
Wellness and hope
Every time I pick up a Hare Krishna pamphlet or listen to a podcast on organic living:
Some gusty, rainy days you just want to stay in bed with a cup of Milo and a good book. Other days you lie on a white sandy beach, a soft breeze playing over your skin as the sunlight sparkles on the sea. Seasons make all the difference.
- Suffocating heat
- Embers glowing in the hearth
Sounds and music
You’ll know it when you hear it
Your eyes give it away…
Discomfort and revulsion
There’s one word I don’t have a place for, anywhere, ever.
Seriously, who uses that?
Absolutely crap words
Here’s a start:
Superlatives, as used by every person who has ever done online marketing for a living, or by mothers commenting on the lives of their offspring on Facebook:
Stop it. Just stop it.
The words that matter at the time
Let me know in the comments below what words give you the creeps, the heebie jeebies or the thrills?
Go on, get all 50 Shades on me…