Saturday, September 28, 2013

sexy words: assiduous

There are a lot of words that I like for their meaning, and then there are words I like for how they sound. Some words hit both aspects, though not as many. I was reminded of the word assiduous this week. The meaning isn't super sexy (constant, unremitting, persevering), though in the hands of a competent author, a case could be made for the trait as either a god one or a bad. (The word deciduous comes close to the deliciousness of assiduous, but runs second best.) This word is all about the way the mouth forms those syllables, particularly the end with its luscious "uous" sound, and the pursing the lips must make to form it. I think the "ahhh-" at the beginning sets the listener up for that second half, and that single "d" in the middle gives just the right amount of pause before the over-the-top come-hither "uous" follow-up. (Which is why deciduous doesn't make the grade. That beginning hard "d" is just too off-putting.) Mmmm. Assiduous.

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