Tuesday, May 6, 2008


What do these words have in common? Grinch, muggle, majestic, snorkack.

Answer: they're all neologisms first seen in literature ("majestic" was created by Shakespeare. Presumably he just used English morphology rules to change "majesty" into an adjective.). They also happen to be neologisms I mention in my thesis, but that's an aside.

Neologisms are a vital part of language. They allow languages to grow and change, and they enable us to express new ideas for which we don't have a word. In other words, neologisms rock. Some of my favorite neologisms are the Seussian: grinch, Yertle (yes, names can be neologisms), ooblek, wocket, sneetch, and Jabberwocky (okay, that one's from Carroll, not Seuss. But still, it's a cool word!). These are fun to read and say.

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