Every day we are faced with something new to describe. This in turn, creates the need for new words and original descriptions. That understood, the bombardment of all these additions, has left the world with less time to bother with fashioning these necessary words and phrases. Consequently, we give in to the laziness of human nature, and merely bang two or more words together to make up a new one.
Even so, with the increase of the use of texting, spell check and social networking sites (where fast and furious short-hand speak is the norm), our brave new world’s language is beginning to change rapidly. Spelling doesn’t seem to be important – as ‘apparently’ proved by a research done by Cambridge University, and the necessary introduction of new words to our vocabulary seem to be leaving a lot of us grammar nerds out in the cold.
In this article I want to do three things:
- Ask the question, ‘Is correct spelling of our words important?’
- Bring your attention to some words that seem to poke fun at our otherwise very serious dictionaries.
- Share some words that I’ve made up to keep abreast with the evolving events of our modern lives.
Is correct spelling of our words important
With the age of short-hand words in general use (words like ‘asap,’ ‘natch.’ ‘pos,’ ‘info,’ ETA, fab and gorge, urgently spring to mind), spelling seems to be the last thing on our brains. Is spelling really important though? Take a look at the following paragraph found on the Cambridge University’s website.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a
toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae
the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a
My opinion is that, the only reason you could read this without a problem is because you know the correct spelling to begin with. In my opinion, learning correct spelling is important, for it’s only then, that you can know what the incorrect version looks like.
Funny words in serious dictionaries (have you seen these before?)
In light of the progressive situations creating the need for additional words, here are a few that you would find in newer dictionaries today. Have you used these before and can you spell them?
Pejorist – one who thinks the world is getting worse.
Scrimshanker – one who accepts neither responsibility nor work.
Jiggery-pokery – deceitful or dishonest manipulation.
Spelunking - the hobby or practice of exploring caves.
Ischial callosities - refers to the leather-like pads on a monkey’s bum.
Natiform – buttock-shaped.
Humongous – a combination of enormous and huge (so it’s now actually a real word).
Some words I’ve made up
I appreciate that there are things we need to express, for which we still do not have words. Here are a few which I’ve worked out that would be perfect for the situations in which we presently find ourselves.
If someone else can make up words like WAGS (wives and girlfriends – of football players) wannabes, metrosexual, blogging, and digging, I felt at liberty pen these.
Netmating (net – mating) making friends on a social networking site.
Wally market – trading comments with your netmates so that he/she will comment on your work.
Obamarite – a person who reads, follows and backs Barak Obama.
Socianemania (so-shi-a-ne-mania) – an addiction to social networking sites.
Olly – a friend you know only online.
Cowelise (Cowell – as in Simon Cowell – ise) to criticize someone in the worse way possible, using only superlatives – the worst, the most out of tune, the fattest etc.
Petromania – to take part in discussions about the current petrol prices’ craze.
Celmaniac - a person who constantly opens and closes his/her mobile (cell) phone to check for messages.
Gadgehoar/Gadgerette (gadge-hor, gadger-ette: a man or woman respectively) who makes it a practise to go out and grab the latest gadgets available – but hardly ever uses them.
I’m sure we’ve all got our own made up words, which we think should be included in the next print of the Oxford dictionary. Who knows, they may even think them worthwhile to be included.