Schnapps

Schnapps sounds like it’s already drunk. The word dares you to order it with a second-rate Sean Connery impersonation: “Schnapps. Becush schnapps ish delishus, Moneypenny.” While the beverage itself is a discordant juxtaposition of cloying sweetness, venomous bite, and ill-advised chemistry (banana-flavored booze?) its name shares none of these traits. It’s a fun word to … Continue reading "Schnapps"

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Ensemble

Ensemble. Say it a few times — ahhn-sahhhm-bull. It glides over the tongue like top-shelf liquor, strong and smooth, no unpleasant edges. It’s the pleasant gentleman in the boisterous brew pub of our language, wearing the phonics of its French roots like a tiara, free of the uncertainty that accompanies awkward imports like oeuvre or foie gras. Ahhn-sahhhm-bull. Its natural … Continue reading "Ensemble"

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Beau

While I don’t like this word merely by default, it’s significant that I particularly dislike the word “boyfriend.” It’s a clumsy word that misrepresents at every syllable: it inaccurately describes an age (“boy”), understates the connection (“friend”), and generally makes even the most refined user sound as if she or he is bragging in a … Continue reading "Beau"

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