• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Perturbation

per·tur·ba·tion

/ˌpərdərˈbāSH(ə)n/

noun

  • 1.anxiety; mental uneasiness: "she sensed her friend's perturbation"

  • 2.a deviation of a system, moving object, or process from its regular or normal state or path, caused by an outside influence: "some minor perturbation in his house's cash flow"


I don't know about you, but I think this word is absolutely delicious, with two <snap!snap!> snaps!


First, let's just examine the mouth-feel of this beauty.


  • "Per" is all about forcing air to the front of your mouth, then parting your lips to allow that little puff to escape. It's practically a verbal slap!

  • "tur" is a follow-up to the other cheek, so to speak. With the "t" sound, the front of your tongue is on the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth. Open your mouth slightly, and push your tongue forward to release a puff of air. I can practically see Bill Cowher spitting as he says this word!

  • "bation" really puts the icing on the word-cake. Again, your lips are closed with a puff of air escaping when they are parted. However, THIS time, your throat vibrates to make the sound. Like an ending growl.


Can I get more word-nerdy??! This word has potential that synonyms like "anxiety", "alarm", and "distress" just don't have.


Well, "distress" comes close, but that's for another time. I don't want to cause perturbation because my post is too long!

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