Want to know one of my pet peeves? When the dictionary uses a word to define itself. For example: optometry (noun) – the science or study of optics. Well that’s just great! I totally looked up the word optometry because I knew what the root optics meant…and yes, I realize optics isn’t a word, it’s a root, but you get the point. That’s like asking a question and receiving an answer in the form of your question. I already know that, so why bother telling me again?!
Why is this relevant? Because at one of my family gatherings over Christmas, my English professor uncle posed a question to all of the grandchildren. How would you describe chocolate without using the word chocolate/cocoa? Since I’m so incredibly gifted in the skills of my native language, I accepted said challenge with the impression that this would be an easy task. I was wrong. It was hard. After two minutes, I deemed it impossible and gave up. I mean, how many combinations are there of the words brown, sweet, and candy? If I’m being honest, most of my worse descriptions sounded like I was describing a piece of poop.
However, since I am writing 50,000 words next month and will most definitely be resigned to long hours of writer’s block, I figured I would revisit this challenge and give it another go. Here’s the result:
One of my favorite desserts, this sweet candy melts under the slightest caress of sunlight. Found in shades that rival the sepia tones of a vintage photograph all the way to the deep cherry wood of a French vanity, the hues vary based on the intensity of the flavor. Although it typically is sweetened with sugar, my tongue is tinged with the bitter 90% concentration of pure cocoa bean (is that cheating?). Easily molded, it can come in all shapes and sizes but it characteristically formed in small bars or Easter bunnies in the spring. Addictive and, in my own opinion, best paired with coffee, this delicacy can often have caffeine in it. Switzerland and Germany claim to produce the best tasting varieties, but we all know that it can be consumed in any form.
That took me much longer than I’m willing to admit. It would be even harder with an object like an orange. You couldn’t even name a color then. At any rate, I will accept the self-given accomplishment of defining words better than Webster and be satisfied with that.