Words in My Mouth
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
I love language.
I am a kinesthetic person and love the way some words feel in my mouth, both when I say them as well as when I simply think about saying them.
I feel a sense of satisfaction in my chest when I read a well-constructed sentence. Even deeper satisfaction when read aloud.
I recently watched The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime. One of the characters is named Frank. Some refer to him more formally: Mr. Frink.
One episode, it hit me … this man’s name is Frank Frink!
I had to pause the episode to take it all in! Who named him?! Did they do it just for me?! Did they intend for the audience to piece it together on their own? Surely they would never have anyone call him by his full name. It’s absurd.
The airy F ending in the harsh, plosive K. For both names! My nose crinkled up and my lips almost puckered as I spoke his full name aloud, over and over.
I decided it was a gift to any viewer who put it together. Such a sense of whimsy.
Frank Frink. Ha!
I pushed play, and within ten minutes, another character called him by his full name. It was like they were listening to me in real-time and course-correcting my conjecture.
(Did you catch that?! Course Correcting my Conjecture. Be still my beating heart!)
But I digress …
I also love when different words sound the same. One of my favorites of late is in this meme:
Fitness. Fitting this. Fittin’ ‘is. Fitness.
The tiniest difference in my mouth, but it sounds essentially the same when heard.
Another one that gets me every time: Namaste.
“Did you want to go grab lunch with us?”
“Nah. I’m gonna stay here.”
Namaste. Nah ‘m u stay.
I get a kid-on-Christmas tightness in the center of my chest as I roll “namaste” around in my mouth. It’s like a little secret that only I know about.
Namaste. Hee hee.
<exhale> Sometimes I find myself holding my breath as I play with the subtle nuances between these words.
Several years ago, I was driving home from a women’s retreat. I had two other women in the car with me and was dropping them off at their apartments. We got into a conversation about words.
“I don’t like to say the word ‘hell’,” one girl shared.
“Hmm. That one has never bothered me,” I responded. “You know what word I don’t like to say? Dick. I don’t like the way it feels in my mouth.”