As surprising as it may seem, I did not know what my favorite word was, or what it meant for that matter, until just recently. I was in my American Literature class earlier this year watching The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, when I heard one of my peers use this word in an oral review of the movie. I recall this student referring to the beautiful scene in the beginning of the movie where Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker are in the living room of the Buchanan household. They are dressed in long, flowy, white dresses and are flouncing around on the couches while the wispy curtains in the room are blown about by the gusts of wind. The student in my class described the scene as “ethereal”. I had never heard this word used before but it intrigued me, so I Googled it, and I could not help but agree with her. Ethereal is defined as being extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world. The depiction in The Great Gatsby was so dream-like that it almost resembled a heavenly state. Every time I hear the word “ethereal,” I picture this beautiful, light scene and it makes me happy.

The scene is not the only reason why this word interests me; I also admire the pronunciation of ethereal. There is shear beauty in the way the word’s four simple syllables sound coming out of someone’s mouth. Even the word itself sounds delicate, dainty, and graceful. Ethereal. Ethereal. Ethereal.


CC BY-SA 4.0 The Beauty of Ethereal by Rachel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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