I love words. I love the sound they make. I love the feelings and images they can evoke when you read them. I love the impressions and impact that they have and can create when you use them in combinations (very often referred to as sentences or, more recently, as sound bites). I use words every day (hopefully effectively) in the job I do helping to write bids and proposals and I’ve often thought that the book I’d like to take to a desert island with me is a dictionary.  You can have hours of fun just opening a page, looking at the words that appear and learning new things about them.

So I thought I’d begin the new year by sharing one of my favourite positive words with you.

Cheerfulness: isn’t it a nice word. It’s got a wonderful group of vowel sounds that really make the mouth work and make you create a smile – well in my mind and the way I talk they do.

To give its true meaning I’ve split the word into its component parts (cheerful and ness) and turned to the Oxford English Dictionary – the concise version – to understand it’s meaning and being ever contrary I turned to the end of the word to begin.

“-ness” is a suffix which expresses a state or condition – exactly what I thought it meant, in a sense it’s way of saying “I am ” or “we are”.

“cheerful” is an adjective whose meaning is described in three ways:

  • in good spirits or noticeably happy
  • bright or pleasant
  • willing or not reluctant

So all in all it’s a pretty powerful word I think and I love that fact that I’ve just discovered that it can refer to a state of non-reluctance. I can honestly say I didn’t know that, but what an appropriate word for the start of a New Year.

Cheerfulness: I am in good spirits, I am bright and I am not reluctant to embark on the adventures that may come my way in the year to come. What new things can you learn about words you take for granted.

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