The Most Beautiful Word in the English Language
I was reminded of a “word”, of sorts yesterday. My brother asked me if I remembered the most beautiful word in the English language. He said I had told him many years ago when we were children...so that was a lot of years ago. He remembers everything about our childhood years.
I couldn’t remember, until he reminded me: cellardoor. Yes, now I remember saying that.
Technically that isn’t a word; it’s two words. But I was a kid. We said it as one word, like football, mailbox...a compound word. But I’d never written it, nor asked anyone how to spell it. So if I’d written it, I’d have probably not even spelled “cellar” correctly.
Say the word softly, running the two words together. Make sure the primary emphasis is on “door” and the secondary one is on the first syllable. Got it. Now do it. Isn’t it just about the prettiest word you have ever said or heard? Well, I thought so. And as soon as he said it, I was brought back to a time long ago in our old kitchen in Woolwich, Maine, on our 10 acre “farm”.
I was reminded of why I probably was even saying the word. The cellar door was the spot we recorded our heights every year or so. All four of the D’s lined up with heels snug to the wall while Mom made that line pressing down on the tops of our heads. Then we’d step forward with grins of anticipation, looking to see how many feet taller we’d grown that year.
Sometimes during the day we’d stop back for a peek, and ask Mom to measure us again, to see if we’d grown any after that grilled cheese sandwich and fruit cocktail. We never had. It is funny how you can not see growth but it is happening.
We moved from the house after I started ninth grade. I’d have to go into our neighboring city, Bath, to go to Junior High and High School, so it was going to be an inconvenience to have to drive me each day. Nope. Buses didn’t run out to the country folk back then. If you wanted to go to school after 8th grade, you had better find a way to get there. So we moved our solidly knit family, bringing our ruler to measure and our pencil for marking. But I don’t remember any other place we got measured other than at the "cellardoor" in Woolwich.
What do you think is the most beautiful word in the English language?