University of Virginia
What's your favorite word and why?
The competition had come down to the wire with my rival classmate, who I have competed academically with since elementary school, and me. It was my turn. My overconfidence bounced me out of my chair as I cheerfully awaited the next word. “Ineffable” the proctor uttered. Pfft easy, I thought. I pointlessly asked for the origin and definition before I spelled the word as fast as I possibly could to ironically try to prove my intelligence. “I-N-E-F-A-B-L-E, Ineffable” I blurted as if I were giving the medical disclaimer. I confidently bounced back in my chair.
Ding! As the bell rang, my body sank. I had lost the 7th Grade Spelling Bee all due to that darn double f!
Livid, I stormed home looking through my dad’s encyclopedias and dictionaries, searching for information on the term. I studied the word from its origin to its use in modern language and found myself enamored with it. “A word that describes the inability for something to be expressed in words,” I repeated continuously in my mind.
I was captivated by its poetic noise and, paradoxically, its extraordinary strength. It encompasses my desire for knowledge, my infatuation with studying diverse languages and my impatience for a languages insufficiency to capture the truth...
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