If you love words, check out this site, at which people submit their favorite words and the reasons they like them. I'd have trouble submitting just one, but a favorite that came to mind right away was lagniappe. Words that are pronouced so differently (lan YAP) from the way they are spelled are good ones to know because they let you show off, and this one has the bonus (or lagniappe, if you will) of just being fun to say as well. It's a very elegant way to say "icing on the cake," as in: "The main reason I wanted the promotion was the recognition of my good work; the higher pay was just lagniappe." Finally, the word's meaning of "a small present given to a customer with a purchase" comes from the Gulf Coast and is of Creole origin, which seems especially appropriate right now.
The call for favorite words is being put out by the Word Detective people, whose site will provide hours of fascination for all you amateur etymologists.