A few years ago, on its website, Merriam-Webster asked visitors to provide their favorite words. Of the thousands of words submitted, the following ten appeared most frequently:
That’s certainly an interesting list of words, but they’re not exactly ones we’re likely to hear in casual conversation, or in a speech or article. Apparently, they were submitted more for their sounds than for their practicality. Used in a speech, they’d probably cause quite a kerfuffle, discombobulating many in the audience, especially the persnickety ones, who might well demand the defenestration of the speaker (a rather uncomfortable fate, to say the least).
Coincidentally, at about that same time, Judy Weldon, wife of my friend and fellow word lover Joel Weldon, asked me to name my favorite word. Oddly enough, in a lifetime of wordsmithing, this was the first time anyone had asked me that question, and I was caught completely off guard. I had never thought about it. It wasn’t until the next day that it dawned on me. It’s my favorite word, not so much because of its sound, but because of the impact it’s had on my life.
The word is Grace, which 20th century preacher and author Ilion T. Jones described as “unquestionably the most important word in the Bible.”