I live in a house where new words are invented all the time. We don’t call that thing that hums and whirls and emits cool air on a hot summer day an air conditioner. No, our cooling unit is a “plooshmenizer.” Now think about it. Doesn’t that describe our summer heat and humidity reliever more accurately? And it adds pizzazz to a conversation, much like an icy glass of lemonade. (eg: “Think it’s time to fire up the plooshmenizer?”)
When our daughter was small, her taste buds could not tolerate “the flimzies.” These are the little grainy packets that orange juice producers call pulp. She said these gooey packets would stick in her teeth and make her gag – something that needs to be avoided at the breakfast table.
Now I find that there is a parallel universe of recently invented words floating out there in everyday conversations that are grouped together as “neologisms” or newly coined words or expressions. Who knew? And they have even been categorized:
- Science and Technology words abound:
crowdsourcing, noob, taser
- Science Fiction:
phaser, warp speed, cyberspace
carpetbagging, glocalisation, soccer mom
- Pop culture:
blog, webinar, LOL
The one that really grabbed my attention this morning was a news tidbit that revealed the neologism “selfie’ has been responsible for twelve deaths around the globe this year. That is more than swimmers who die annually from shark attacks. So it is advisable to resist the urge to try a hand stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon so you can get a really great selfie to text to all the folks back home. It’s simply much better to just think up a new word and send that out to all one’s followers.