23 April 2007

Creating new words

My friend, Heather, recently listed her status as "Libraryizing- yes, I'm cool enough to make up words," or something like that on Googletalk. It really got me thinking about made-up words, and how they're really an indication of practicality rather than coolness. Don't get me wrong, Heather is cool, just not for making up words.

My personal favorite made-up word is pajamize. Why should we say, "I'm going to go put on my pajamas now,"? Why not say, "I'm going to pajamize." It's so much more practical. I look forward to the day when I will say to my children, "Have you pajamized? It doesn't look like you've pajamized! Go pajamize and brush your teeth." And in the morning, when your lethargic teenagers are dragging their feet getting ready for school, say "You, teenager! Go depajamize. We need to get out the door!"

Verbizing nouns (see, I just verbized the word verb) is one of the best way to create new words. Now, we don't need to say things like, "I'm carring to the store." That's just dumb. Say you're driving to the store. But, it's perfectly okay to verbize many, many nouns, such as Heather's "librarying." She replaced "studying at the library" with only one word. Very practical indeed. Now, the French would absolutely not allow such creations of words. They are very protective of their precious, nasal language, and insist on full-length descriptions of words, rather than simply adapting a new word into their language. Increasing technology has caused quite a few language problems for the French, or so I hear. (All the French I know comes from Beauty and the Beast).

Now, if there actually is a word that can be used in place of a made-up word, I believe we should use said existing word. It's good to stretch our vocabularies, but when no word exists, feel free to make up a new one. You have my permission.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Sherry! I found your blog via the comment you posted on Jared and Kristy's blog (this is Alicia formerly-Packer-now-Langstraat). So I thought I'd drop in and found myself stifling laughter within moments. Wow. I had a word to contribute to your archive of new and practical words, that I was super pleased with because I got away with it on an English paper my freshman year, but I don't remember it. Perhaps it wasn't so great after all. Anyway, I'm glad to see that you have retained your most excellent personality and congratulations on graduation! I was curious to see how the whole Cheney episode would turn out. I walked last August (graduated in December), and didn't have nearly as dramatic of a Commencement. Ha ha, but I did get to actually process into the Marriott Center. Yay for no metal detectors!