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.


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."


"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.