How far can we push the English language before new words become ridiculous? I’m not talking about the trend towards shortening words and terms to abbreviations and acronyms, though that is becoming AIIOR (annoying in its own right).
This morning I was reading a review of a book about a bicycle, and the blurb claimed it was an “unputdownable read.” I get it. I can’t put the book down because this bicycle is ubber spectacular. Sweet!
But not all linguists are quite as open-minded, and their implacable approach to language can be stifling at times. For example, there are purists in the world – France and North Korea come to mind right away – who instead of adopting foreign words (mainly English) into their own language will come up with some literal translation that seems kind of goofy. At least to me it does.
But what about when we native speakers of our respective languages want to push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in terms of orthography? Is “skidstain” an appropriate denouncement of another person? If a book is so good it’s “unputdownable,” does that mean the same holds true for the opposite case, that a book is so bad it’s clearly “putdownable”?
While conducting extensive research for this post, I came across a site called demilked.com and a piece that Martynas Klimas put together titled “24 Brilliant Words That Must Be Added To A Dictionary.”
Take the time to check out this list when you can, but for me some of the wittier ones included:
askhole (n): someone who asks stupid, pointless, or obnoxious questions.
nonversation (n): a completely worthless conversation; small talk.
cellfish (n): an individual who continues talking on their phone so as to be rude or inconsiderate of other people.
unlightening (adj.): learning something that makes you dumber.
beerboarding (n): extracting secret information from a colleague by getting them drunk.