Magic is based on words of power, which series?
I am looking for a trilogy of fantasy books which I read around 2001. I liked it a lot and would like to re-read it, but I don't know the title and/or author anymore. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The story starts with a girl sitting at a deathbed to learn the word of power from the dying person. In this world everyone gets to learn one word to see if they have a talent for magic. If this is the case they can go to magic school to be trained and learn more words.
A word is inversely powerful to the amount of people that know it, so the more people know the word, the less powerful it is (speaking the word is painful).
Every word means more power and with three words (or five?) you become a god. At the end of the series there is a magician (and his wife?) who become a god to be powerful enough to make something happen and then speak their most powerful word to a crowd, so it loses its power and they no longer are a god.