Words | Dunning Personality Type Experts

INFPs have a special relationship with words. INFPs focus not only on the meaning of words but also the feelings they create. In this blog post, Paul Dunning explains his love for words. — A.J.W.

INFP Reflections

By Paul Dunning

After reading Tolkien’s quote – “I often long to work at my nonsense fairy language and don’t let myself ’cause though I love it so it does seem such a mad hobby!” – in my previous blog, I started to wonder if other INFPs have the same affiliation with words.

From an early age I have thought about their genesis, speculating that a word like “ugly” came about because it is a natural verbal response to something unpleasant to see.

Words can be a lot of fun. It seems Tolkien loved the creativity of word play. As an INFP, one of my fascinations is with the feelings certain words emote when spoken that go beyond their intended meaning.

“Cantankerous” jumps out at you, laden with emphasis, each syllable a heavy footstep on the floor.

“Theme” seems to stick to the roof of your mouth, like a spoonful of verbal peanut butter.

“Auspicious” sounds as if it can’t contain its meaning, spilling hope in all directions.

This may not be an INFP thing at all, but I wonder. Our dominant function of Introverted Feeling focuses us on inwardly evaluating ideas according to our values. And words are ideas, so by playing with words we refine our tools to communicate. And that can be fun.

What is your relationship with words?

via Words | Dunning Personality Type Experts.

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4 thoughts on “Words | Dunning Personality Type Experts

  1. Ok, I’m a little late coming to this but I just found your blog. I love words too. I find it interesting that, for me, the sound and feel of some words is influenced by the meaning. I’m specifically thinking of those ever-popular swear words. They are short, staccato, often guttural and “in your face”. And that’s the intent of using them. But illusive, enchanting, ethereal sound breathy and make me smile – just like they’re intended. Anyway, loved the post. I have bookmarked this blog and anxious for more on WORDS.

    • It makes sense to me that an ISFJ would have a strong response to the sound of words in particular. Readers hear words in their head as they read, so the musicality of words and sentences is an important part of good writing!

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