My son is in the process of filling out college applications, and the supplemental form to one school has included several prompts for the student to provide short answers. An interesting question I found was: What is your favorite word?
I know mine. Extrude. I love that word, the way is clears your throat and puckers yours lips almost for kissing. It reminds me of the time when the children played with Play Doh, coaxing a lump of dough through the plastic mold and cutting off varying thicknesses of stars or squiggles from the long strips of dough.
Extrude looks like another word: Erudite. But they’re nowhere in the same ball park. With erudite, your chin wobbles about three times. And what’s with the ‘r’? Apparently, there are a couple of ways to say it: “erudite” and “erudite” That’s just too confusing. The word is too full of itself, as if one pronunciation can’t contain the enormity of its meaning.
Erudite reminds me of another word, this time borrowed from the French: Crudités. If you’re not familiar with the accent, it can be perplexing to use.
At a party, if you’re not sure of the pronunciation, you might ask, “May I have another, umm, delicious, small, vegetable snacky thing?”
Which is better than calling it crud, I guess.
And that brings me back to extrude. You might eruditely ask the host, “May I have another delicious extruded cheese hors d’oeuvres? They go so well with the crudités.”
I’m not talking about pasteurized cheese in a can. How about those yummy Southern Cheese Straws?
There you go.