University of Virginia
What is your favorite word and why?
My brother knocks down a glass from the kitchen table and it shatters; my sister makes a joke, teasing my Dad; I receive a bad test grade in my math class. As different as these situations are, my family reacts to each with just two simple words: “blak-he mook-ha”. This phrase has no inherent meaning: “білий муха” in Russian; “metal fly” in English. My Dad often incorporates Russian words from his youth into his speech, a great source of entertainment for me and my siblings. First hearing my Dad mutter this exact phrase under his breath, and then learning its absurd meaning, we all laughed. But for some reason, the words stuck with us.
With this phrase, I am reminded of the power of interpretation, that despite the vast English vocabulary I may possess, no words will ever precisely capture the essence of the aforementioned moments as well as these words do, solely because of their significance to me and my family. Sometimes, you don’t need logical words or sentences to express how you feel; you need to let out your frustration in a way that satisfies you. When I mutter these words to myself in class, no one understands how I react to the poor grade. Upon returning home, however, this simple pair of words is all I need, and my...
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