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June 08, 2012

Want To Make Up Your Own Word?

Ever run into a situation where you want to describe something but the word doesn't exist? It's not that you can't...

...remember the word, but there is no word for it.

I usually think that there is a word for every possible thing, but then I come up against some unexpected object or process that I am trying to define or explain.

Sometimes I'll make up a word for a familiar object or concept just to see if my students are paying attention. For example, if we have a project that requires a standard stapler I mention that I have a 'stapleizer'. The students laugh and pay attention - at least for a moment.

If you have a idea for a word, that might actually be useful, take a look at this website http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/06/questioningly-invent-a-new-word.html and enter the contest for a not yet coined word.

If you have been searching for a word that captures the loves of pencils, you can see it here.

As you probably noticed, this is from New Yorker magazine. The idea started by gathering words that readers suggest that we get rid of. I certainly have my list of (least) favorite words.

"Actually" and "awesome" are two words that annoy me because of their almost universal meaninglessness. You can see the article with a list of recommended word rejections here http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/04/questioningly-words-marked-for-death.html.

One word I just heard recently for the first time is 'Logorrhoea' which basically means the inability to stop talking, and yes, it is a real word.

Let us know what links or other resources you find useful or encouraging. We are all learning and making new connections all the time and sharing makes our journey much richer.

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf currently teaches English and writing for a local technical/vocational college with many international students. Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else likes and unlikely and ridiculous situations. And if you want him to visit your school or program, you can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at June 8, 2012 10:23 PM

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