Each month, we ask our contributors to find the single best word to answer our pressing questions. And sometimes there’s a story in how they arrived at those answers. We wrap this inaugural round of Fightin’ Words with Joshua Shaw, author of “Cure Light Wounds,” this month’s featured short story.
1) The smell that brings you back to the best time in your life:
2) Your last dream:
3) Expressing frustration:
4) Your sense of style:
5) The most beautiful thing to say:
6) A cool, rainy Sunday:
7) What you’re hungry for:
Is there a word in English that crossbreeds (1) quiet as heard by monks who’ve taken vows of silence and (2) the calzones at Broadway Pizza in Tivoli, New York? Because that should happen.
8) Deletion from the dictionary:
This is tough.
After a spot of googling, I discovered that cameleopard was removed from English folks in the English-speaking world settled into referring to giraffes as giraffes. The world would be a happier place, I think, if we’d stuck to calling them cameleopards.
Then I learned to my dismay that cassette tape was removed from the OED to make room for mankini and woot and retweet. This terrifies me as the concept of mixtapes is pretty vital to how I conceptualize the world, and it sounds like it could soon become extinct.