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  • Marla Coppolino

These are a few of my favorite words

Words are like little compositions, not only of letters, but also of ideas and experiences, and the etymology of it. I enjoy the flavors of words, and when considered one at a time, it's like tasting cheese or wines... a small nibble or sip, then close your eyes and see how that word feels.

Today I'll highlight a few of my favorites, drawn in pencil, with the feeling of the word imbedded into the letters.


Amoeba |əˈmēbə| Noun. A single-celled animal that catches food and moves about by extending fingerlike projections of protoplasm. Amoebas are either free-living in damp environments or parasitic.

This word is a favorite of mine since childhood. For me, "amoeba" evokes my early sense of wonder, that these tiny one-celled animals exist everywhere and are going about their daily business, eating and dividing and so on, invisible to most humans.



Possibility |ˌpäsəˈbilədē| Noun. A thing that may happen or be the case.

This word feels ripe with possibilities. Whatever the thing is, it hasn't happened yet. For some reason, I always think of the word "possibility" as being something potentially positive and exciting. It only just occurs to me in this moment that it could mean the opposite, for example, the possibility of an earthquake. I'll not think that.



Petrichor |ˈpeˌtrīkôr| Noun. A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

I love this word. I discovered it later in life. It's such a visceral word; as I say it, I feel the dampness of rain in my hair, rain boots on my feet, and hitting my nostrils is the unmistakable aroma of... of what? I've heard some say that "petrichor" comes from fungal spores. This seems right, though I think the odor is a mixture of spores and other organic matter. The word is deserving of its own poem, which I've been working on for the past few years. I find it a challenge because the word stands alone so well. It sounds like what it means.


All word drawings were rendered using a black wood pencil from C.W. Pencil Enterprise, https://cwpencils.com I don't think they make this particular pencil any longer.


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