I’ve often been accused of being overly loquacious.
Am not! I do not talk too much!
However, if you accused me of being sesquipedalian…
Yup – guilty as charged.
I sometimes tend to use big words, but not because of some dark deep-seated need to feel superior. I instead attribute it to two reasons:
1) my parents instilled in me a strong desire to build my vocabulary;
2) sometimes the right word to use IS the big one.
In homage to reason (1) above, I’ve slipped in a saying from me-mumsy-dearest in my latest project, “My Friend Jackson”:
People who use 4-letter words have 4 IQ’s.
In my pursuit of flexing my vocab muscles, I wouldn’t be surprised if along the way I’ve created words not found in the Oxford dictionary. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I consider myself in good company.
Here’s a short list of words that didn’t exist in the English language, until an author created them in their literature:
chortle Lewis Carroll cyberspace William Gibson doublethink George Orwell droog Anthony Burgess grok Robert Heinlein nerd Dr. Suess pandemonium John Milton pollyanna E.H.Porter robot Karel Capek shangri-la James Hilton superman Friedrich Nietzsche utopia Sir Thomas More waldo Robert Heinlein yahoo Jonathan Swift
So why did I choose this topic to ramble away on?
I was recently reminded of how “invented words” leech into our conversation, when a TV murder mystery referred to “furnidents,” defined as “the impressions that appear in carpets after furniture has been moved/removed.”
That’s not a real word!
It was first introduced by Rich Hall in his “Sniglets” feature in HBO’s “Not Necessarily The News.”
Some of my other favorite sniglets:
furbling – Having to wander through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank, even when you are the only person in line.
carperpetuation – The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum ONE MORE CHANCE.
flen – The black crusty residue that accumulates on the necks of old catsup bottles.
For a rather impressive list of sniglets, follow this link.
I’m sure you’ll find a few “invented” words in my books as well.
If you find one, and are curious about their meaning and etymology, leave a comment or drop me a line!