Author Corner: Arthur Plotnik with some timely help for Valentine’s Day

Arthur Plotnik is the author of BETTER THAN GREAT, a unique thesaurus of praise and acclaim. Why settle for “great” when you can say “mind-marmalizing” or “pinnacular”? And in this season of romance, will anything short of superlatives be worthy of expressing your love for that special someone in your life? If you’re lost for words, struggling for the right way to tell them that you care, fear not, for help is at hand. Arthur Plotnik has some timely pointers for you this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Season Special: Worthier Words for Your Loved One

“You’re adorable,” “You’re so fabulous and brilliant,” “My sweet,” “You send me.”

Many are the ways to express admiration of our loved ones, but most of the year we can get away with stock phrases over a red table wine. During Valentine’s season, however, the expectations and stakes go up. Fondue by candlelight. Chocolate truffles. Long-stem roses. An extra allowance of this, a bit more of that.

The season also calls for worthier words in praise of the love object—special words to make your soulmate feel more special than your newest shoes or digital toy.

We are talking about words called “superlatives”: terms that indicate high or utmost degree. Superlatives are the currency of praise; so when it comes to your heart’s desire, why parcel out cheapies like “great” or “amazing”? Especially around V-Day, you’ll want to peel off some big denominations in praise of your darling. I’ll be acclaiming my own true love, for example, as “ensorcelling,” “refulgent,” “enrapturing”; “a tintinnabulation of joy.”

But maybe in these tough times you’re feeling as pinched for words as for everything else. Allow me, then–as the author of a book of 6,000 fresh superlatives—to be of some assistance.

“Beautiful,” “Joy-Giving,” and “Sublime” are among the fifteen categories of acclaim in BETTER THAN GREAT: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives, newly and lovingly published by Souvenir Press. Borrowing from terms in these and other categories, I offer a few dozen examples to inspire your own, upgraded love cries. Use them in cards and texts or over champagne or pillows, but with honorable intentions only—at least when Cupid is watching.

For him:
My love, you are:

fatally handsome
my flambeau of joy
balsamaceous (having healing or restorative properties)
beyond dashing
one big loving cup
a Clydesdale (good-looking stud)
gaupísimo [Spanish: extremely hot-looking]
an artisanal masterwork
boombastic (sexy, hot)
a regalement [banquet] for the heart
my yin and my yang
heapin’ hot
a Michelangelian stud-muffin
a heart-impounding heir to Adonis
my anam cara [soul-friend]
George Clooney [Clive Owen? Theo Wolcott? Daniel Craig?] 2.0

For her:
Dearest, you are:

amaranthine (unfadingly beautiful)
an attar [perfume] of allure
rejoicement, a
concupiscible (worthy of amorous desire)
mythopoetically [myth-makingly] beautiful
caressably gracile ( slender, willowy)
fallen from the heavenly clouds
lovely to the outrance (French: ” utmost extremity”)
one fine gabwanaha (good-looking woman)
gaga-makingly gorgeous
gazelline (gazelle-like)
an objet d’art
a cascade of happiness
a conjugation of beauty and grace
Kate Middleton [Kiera Knightley? Kate Winslet? Myleen Class?] 2.0


Arthur Plotnik studied writing under Philip Roth in the Iowa Graduate Writers Workshop where, like one of Roth’s characters, he aspired to be “linguistically large.” In addition to his distinguished career as editorial director for the American Library Association, he is the author of nine books, including two U.S. Book-of-the-Month-Club selections. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins praised Better Than Great “as “Amen-Astonishing!”


3 thoughts on “Author Corner: Arthur Plotnik with some timely help for Valentine’s Day

    1. I can’t promise anything I’m afraid…
      My personal favourites on the list “for him” are ‘my anam cara’ and ‘my flambeau of joy’, but it’s all about personal preference. Either way, it’s something a little different for Valentine’s Day!

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