Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Words I Want

The English language is glorious because it is so laissez-faire. We'll gladly pick up words from other languages and use them with impunity. Unlike languages like, say, French, which have boards of control to keep their language "pure," English is a damned mutt of a language.

This probably explains why we have like 30,000 words that mean "smell". It also explains why we let Warren G. Harding get away with "normalcy" when "normality" was a perfectly acceptable and alliterative alternative.

Anyway, I have a few words I'd like to see included in the O.E.D.:

"Whelm" - Of course you can be overwhelmed (affected deeply in mind or emotion), and I've heard people using "underwhelmed" (affected shallowly in mind or emotion), but I want to be affected in mind or emotion in just the right amount. I want to go into the movie and say, "Meh, I was whelmed". Kinda explains the general reaction to this blog.

"Couth" - Between the belching, hacking, and farting, my coworkers are rightly called uncouth... but are the rest of us just "couth"? I think so.

"Craptacular" - This one is a Simpson's reference, but I saw Rob Owens in the PG use it once, so it's on its way to becoming a real boy. It is awesome.

Gahzinnus - The entrance... 'cause it "Gets us in"... not to be confused with the Gahzahtus, which would be the exit. I use these on a fairly regular basis, and either people are humoring me or they know what I'm talking about.

Just a few for now... more later, but if you all would start using these words now in regular conversation, that would be great.

3 comments:

CmdrSue said...

Words glorious words. Two quotes from Mark Twain:

"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug."

and

"A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt."

And back to the topic at hand, we have mused over whelm and couth ourselves. I mean, they put in SCRUNCHY for goodness sake!

Scintilla said...

Er, according to at least three of the dictionaries used by Dictionary.com, "couth" IS a word...

(Admittedly as a back-formation from "uncouth" about 110 years old, but still.)

O said...

No need to bring facts into this scintilla.