The Magic Power of Words by Shannon Takaoka

In “The Magic Power of Words” by Shannon Takaoka, the author takes us on a journey into the world of words. As a self-proclaimed word nerd and author, Takaoka shares her fascination with the beauty, power, and magic that words possess. From her childhood as a shy and dreamy reader, to her realization that words can serve as mirrors reflecting our insecurities and hopes, Takaoka explores the profound impact that words can have on our lives. Through a delightful list of her favorite words, she invites us to uncover hidden meanings and emotions, and ultimately shows us that even the simplest words can hold incredible power.

The Magic Power of Words by Shannon Takaoka

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The Magic Power of Words

Words have always held a special place in our lives. They have the ability to evoke emotions, convey ideas, and transport us to different worlds. Whether we are reading or writing, words have a magical power that can’t be denied. In this article, we will explore the personal connection to words, delve into some favorite words, and discuss the impact of words on ourselves and others.

The Magic Power of Words by Shannon Takaoka

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The Personal Connection to Words

For many of us, words provide an escape from reality. They allow us to dive into different stories and explore new worlds. As a child, I found solace in books, and the words carefully arranged by my favorite authors like Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Blume, and E.L. Konigsburg became my refuge. In those pages, I could be anyone and go anywhere. Words became my form of escape.

But words are not just an escape. They also have the power to reflect our insecurities, dreams, and fears. They give us a way to see ourselves and our emotions mirrored back at us. The words of others can show us that we are not alone in our experiences. They can make us feel seen and understood. And as writers, we have the incredible opportunity to use our own words to connect with others and offer them that same sense of recognition and understanding.

Furthermore, the impact of words extends beyond ourselves. The words we choose and use can have a profound effect on others. They have the power to inspire, uplift, and encourage. On the other hand, they can also hurt, demoralize, and damage. Our words carry weight and can leave a lasting impression on those who hear or read them. It is important to be mindful of the power our words hold and to use them responsibly and with kindness.

The Magic Power of Words by Shannon Takaoka

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Favorite Words

As a self-proclaimed word nerd, I have accumulated a collection of favorite words. These words hold a special place in my heart for various reasons. Here are some of them:


The word “doppelgänger” fascinates me. It conjures up images of alternate versions of ourselves, lurking in the shadows, just out of reach. The concept of a doppelgänger, whether in another city, country, or even a parallel universe, is both spooky and intriguing. It sparks the imagination and begs the question: What if there is a version of us out there, leading a completely different life?


“Ephemeral” is a word that perfectly captures the fleeting nature of certain moments in life. It describes something that is transient or lasting only for a brief moment in time. Whether it’s a perfect sunset, fresh flowers, or Christmas morning, everything has an ephemeral quality. This word reminds us to appreciate the beauty in the temporary and embrace the present moment.


“Shenanigans” is a word that never fails to bring a smile to my face. It’s playful, light-hearted, and just plain fun to say. Plus, it happens to rhyme with my name, Shannon. The word captures a sense of mischief and silliness, and sometimes we all need a little shenanigans in our lives.


I stumbled upon the word “grawlix” and instantly fell in love with it. It refers to the string of symbols used to represent a curse word. I find the word itself to be whimsical and the concept intriguing. It’s a reminder of the creative ways we can express ourselves without resorting to explicit language.


“Pareidolia” is a phenomenon that I discovered while researching for one of my books. It refers to the mind’s tendency to see familiar patterns or objects, such as faces, in random stimuli, like clouds or inkblots. I find this word fascinating because it captures the whimsy and wonder of the human mind and its ability to find meaning in the seemingly random.


The scent of rain after a dry spell is captured by the word “petrichor.” It’s that earthy, fresh smell that fills the air and brings to mind images of greenery and life. This word evokes a sense of nostalgia and reminds us of the simple joys that nature can bring.


As a writer of young adult fiction, the word “basorexia” intrigues me. It refers to a sudden and overwhelming urge to kiss someone. While I may not experience this sensation often myself, I appreciate the power of words to capture and convey various emotions and desires.


“Sonder” is a word from John Koenig’s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, and it holds a special place in my heart. It describes the recognition that every individual we encounter is living a rich, complex, and unique life. It reminds us of the interconnectedness of humanity and the stories that surround us every day. It’s a humbling word that invites empathy and understanding.


Last but not least, the word “home” holds immense significance for me. It’s a word that encompasses various emotions and meanings: shelter, safety, love, and a sense of belonging. Dorothy’s famous line, “There’s no place like home,” resonates deeply with me. It’s a wish I have for everyone to find their sense of home, wherever and whoever that may be.

In conclusion, words possess a magic power that can transcend time and space. They have the ability to transport us, reflect our emotions, and connect us with others. As writers and readers, let us treasure the beauty of words and use them to inspire, uplift, and transform both ourselves and the world around us.

The Magic Power of Words by Shannon Takaoka

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