Ever been stumped for the right word?
I don’t mean those days when your brain’s as thick as cold porridge, when you need three espressos and a Red Bull chaser just to get a few jaded synapses to sparkle into life. When you just know there’s a word out there that’s precisely right, that just fits what you want to say. It’s on the tip of your brain but every time you scrabble for it, it darts out of reach, a thought-beetle scurrying into the dark when you lift the rotting log of your memory.
No. I don’t mean that. I don’t mean that at all. Anyway, for me that’s an everyday occurrence. It’s a fact of life that keeps good company with walking into rooms and forgetting what I went in for, trying to remember that actor’s name- you know the one- he was in that thing with wotsit out of that other show and absent-mindedly putting the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge. I have reached THAT age.
No, what I mean is those occasions when our brilliant, complex, varied language, used by literary geniuses over the centuries to describe shared emotions and experience, the wonderful, horrible feelings and thoughts that make up a human mind, that inform human existence, that describe what it is to live on this blue-green bauble rolling on the black velvet groundsheet of space-time- when all of that just isn’t enough.
You know what I mean. No matter how many billions of people have lived before, are living now, will ever live, sometimes it seems that what you feel is different- that what you’ve experienced is unique in some way. That existing wordage just isn’t enough.
What I mean is YOU JUST WANNA MAKE STUFF UP. You wanna snatch syllables from the air- ones that are nearly right, almost there- and squish them together, mash them so they fuse together like some hybrid mythical creature- a bit griffin, a bit sphinx- kind of weird and totally amazing.
And here’s where my word of the day comes in.
Isn’t it great? It’s the kind of word that eight year-old boys love to use to describe conkers or slugs or farts.
Enormous just isn’t big enough. What about gigantic? Yeah… good, but it needs to be bigger, like all the huge things you’ve ever seen or thought of rolled into one.
For days when BIG just won’t hack it.
A nod to Kittykat– the originator of W4W