June 20

A question you may never have been asked

My freshman college English teacher was remarkable.

Professor Samson was an older woman, whose gray hair was always loose, falling over the sides of her face and down past her shoulders. She would wear flowing, linen dresses that, truth be told, were strikingly similar to moo moos. When she talked, though, you couldn't help but be mesmerized. She would read some beautiful part of The Odyssey, swaying every so slightly back and forth, with this calm, reverent tone.

When Professor Samson put the book down and began to talk about the significance of the passage or the historical context, she'd look up to the back corner of the room, with her right hand almost molding the air in front of her. I watched her hand, almost expecting the characters to appear in her palm, and I still remember the slim, golden rings that she wore on her right hand, on her ring and pinkie fingers.To this day, I wear rings on my right hand, same fingers, hoping that I'll be able to grasp literature the way she did.

One day, Prof Samson asked me a question that I'll never forget.

13-6-20 Apricot
We were sitting in her office, and she said, “Morgan, what's your favorite word?”

“Favorite word?” my 18-year-old self said, “I don't know, I've never thought about it.”

She said, “Well, you should think about it. My favorite word is ‘apricot.' I love the way the ‘a' sound begins so abruptly, with such precision in the unfolding consonants, and a final, decisive, ‘tuh' sound.”

Go ahead, say it out loud. “Apricot.”

I have loved the word “apricot” since, and even over a decade later, I still add to my list of favorite words:





I could go on… but this is the important message:

Words are powerful, and they are beautiful.

Spend time thinking about words, seeking to impact your reader. You never know how long your reader will remember something you have said or written.

Now, I want to ask you, what's your favorite word?

Really! Comment below, and tell me your favorite word, or the first one that pops into your mind.

I will wait here, gladly, fervently, zestfully anticipating your reply.


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