When I was a kid I remember having a lot of favourite things. Red was my favourite color; I had a favourite plush bunny; running was my favourite activity; pasta with sugar and jam — (gasp!) — was my favourite dinner dish; Eragon was my favourite book.

During most of my school years languages were my least favourite subjects. My parents knew about it, so if one day I had a lot of Polish and English classes, when I finally got home and they asked me how my day went, even before I answered them, they usually had a vague guess.

As a child, major part of my attention was turned inward, so I classified the world around me in terms that were easy to comprehend. It is understandable — I was a kid and my cognitive abilities were not fully developed. Empirically, as I got older I’ve noticed I don’t think about things as my favourite anymore.

Is red still my favourite color? No, it’s not. What’s my favourite color, then? I honestly don’t know. I associate the word “favourite” with enjoyment or a pleasurable feeling. I enjoy the sky when it’s electric blue.1 I’m writing this note in spring (2024-04-21), so during the past few weeks I had the pleasure of experiencing radiant green of sunlit leaves.2 I enjoy looking at blooming lilac, as violet is relatively rare in nature.3

Are these my favourite colors? No. I enjoy them, but I don’t prefer any one of them over the rest.

Are the language classes still my least favourite? Debatable, but no. I finished my formal education path many moons ago, so you’ll forgive me, but I don’t recall all the details. It safe to say I mostly didn’t enjoy them but I don’t think any single subject was my least favourite. It was context dependent on the material being taught and the teachers themselves — the teachers were the major factor.

What does it mean to have favourite ?

For me, “favourite” is an abstract term; an object can be favourite in its class at this moment or within the given context.

When I use superlatives to describe something, it’s usually situational. So, the next time you read about my favourite , think about it being favourite within the very specific context you found it in.

Footnotes

  1. Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash:

  2. Photo by Benjamin Jameson on Unsplash:

  3. Photo by Katya Leto on Unsplash: