I’ve seen polls querying what words people like or don’t like. Moist is a frequent offender on the don’t-like lists, while the favored lists have zingers like snickerdoodle or catawampus.
Because I’m a writer, I prefer to not censor myself, period. I’d rather have all of the English language at my disposal for use in the proper place. Completely ignoring a word is like not having a color of paint in my palette when I need it. The bottom of the page might be the perfect place for a moist yellow daub of pigment.
But when I normally answer these quizzes, I say that was is my least favorite word, and now is my favorite.
Historically, my reasons for these choices were grammatical. Was is a boring, passive word.
He was walking toward her. (Bor-ring.)
He prowled toward her. (Yum.)
Of course I use was in my writing. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and sometimes it’s the perfect word in the perfect place (like when you’re trying to hide the actor in a sentence). I just try to avoid it as a default.
As far as now? It’s sexy.
“Come to the bedroom,” he said. (Meh.)
“Come to the bedroom. Now.” (Tingles.)
Recently, though, I realized that my love of the word now and my distaste for the word was go deeper than grammar or book boyfriends.
Not to be too existentialist, but we only live in the now. That’s all that exists. And was—what is past—is always stale compared to the freshness of this moment. Writing this blog post is infinitely more interesting than me reading it a week from now. And you reading this now is way more interesting than having read it.
I’ll keep reminding myself to live in the now, thank you very much. And I’m not gonna worry too much about what was.