Redefining north.

Notes from Crew Quarters: Word Choice

Notes from Crew Quarters: Word Choice


This week, we asked our editors: what are your favorite and least favorite words?

Jacque Boucher, Spoken Word Poetry

Favorites: Loquacious, vivisect, shoulder, guts

Least Favorite: Lover, twitch, slit, lure

Amy Hansen, Associate Poetry Editor

Favorite: till as in to plow

Least favorite: lover

Jen Howard, Editor-in-Chief 

I do not like when things or people quiver, though it's a solid enough noun when used to indicate an arrow holder. I love suss. Why does Microsoft Word always red-squiggly underline it? It's a real word!

Jason Teal, Associate Nonfiction Editor

Favorite: bricky, irregardless, JCPenney's.

Least: poignant, quirky

Hayli Cox, Associate Nonfiction Editor

Favorites: revel, savor, luminescent, cling, visage, and crave. I dislike vague words (though I like the word vague) and the words cry, tears, and suddenly.

Sarah David, Associate Fiction Editor

I really like how all these words look and sound: blizzard, revel, ambiguous, horizon, telepathy, moonlight, autumn...I have more favorites, I'm sure. I don't like "moist" or "whine" (though I like wine).

Matt Weinkam, Managing Editor

My pet peeve is any version of the word "thrum." It's pretentious and calls attention more attention to itself than it does to the sound it attempts to describe.

Monica McFawn, Fiction Editor

I love the word "bluff," this definition:"good-naturedly direct, blunt, or frank; heartily outspoken." I like people like that, too, and there isn't really another adjective that describes that quality. It's an archaic usage but should come back. Words I hate? Probably the two word combo "years before" Bothers me when it is used as a transition, and I don't like the sound, either.

John LaPine, Associate Nonfiction Editor

Favorites: orbit, zenith, cells, sluice, crush, sunbeat, apex, salacious

Least: "in today's society," "most people believe"

Willow Grosz, Associate Fiction Editor

favorite: grey

least favorite: gray

Ashely Adams, Associate Nonfiction Editor

There's an under-appreciated poetry in scary science words/phrases (yeah I'll cheat a little). Some of my favorites are: Laurentia, coronal mass ejection, extirpation, penumbra. Also hellbender (a species of giant salamander) and warmouth fish. As for least, I wouldn't say I HATE this word but I've always struggled saying the word three. As a kid I'd always turn the "th" sound into an "f" and make it free and I was super insecure about it. I still trip up on it today.

Sara Ryan, Associate Poetry Editor

Favorites: bone, illusion, grip, bread, blood

Not favorites: foam, slit, rut, glob

Alex Clark, Associate Nonfiction Editor

My favorite is's a nice descriptor and it feels really satisfying to say.

My least favorite is solicit. I don't know why.

Patricia Killelea, Poetry Editor 

Least favorites: "hegemony" and "jubilant"

Favorites: "stone" and "gruntled"

Notes from Crew Quarters: Who's Reading This?

Notes from Crew Quarters: Who's Reading This?

Write an Essay About Your Favorite Family Member by Kate Imbach

Write an Essay About Your Favorite Family Member by Kate Imbach