Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Words You Make Up

Yes. Hi. I'm not dead. Well, maybe I am. If I am...well, then that would be a little interesting. You'd be reading a post from someone who's dead! How's that for the record books? Personal best for you, I'd guess.

But most evidence is pointing to the fact that I am not dead. Sorry to disappoint you all. You'll find something more interesting in your day, I'm sure. If you don't, that's not my problem.

I came here to talk about something special. You know how sometimes you're talking to a friend, and you're trying to describe how you knocked over the cookie jar, the cookies all spilled out, they landed on the floor, and your cat leaped away making some kind of a devil noise while your dog raced forward yelping at the top of his lungs something that probably means in dog "COOKIIEEESSS ON DAH FLOOORRR!", but that none of that made any sense since you don't have a cookie jar or a cat?

You all know that situation, I'm sure. And you get to the point where you're trying to describe the devil noise your cat made, and you realize...there's no word in any known human language that can describe the noise. You can't say that he roared, because cats don't roar. Well, not the small household type, anyway. If you have a cat that roars in your house, remind me never to visit, and remind yourself to check daily to see whether or not it starts developing black and orange stripes or growing a mane. You also can't say that your cat squeaked, because that takes away from the awesome power and overall evilness of the devil noise the mammal made. So you instead exclaim, "He kinda...roarked!"

Which is obviously those two words combined, but not in any way that really makes sense. But admit it, roarked is a cool word! And what else were you supposed to do? Well, you probably could have said that he squored, but that doesn't sound right.

Or where you're trying to say that you crawled away, but you didn't crawl away. And you didn't walk...and you didn't didn't slither...and after a little while, your brain just gives up and yells, "OH FORGET THESE VERBS. JUST SAY YOU SQUIRBLED AWAY, OKAY?" So you do. Because it's a little difficult to argue with your brain.

Sometimes the English language doesn't give you the feeling you want to convey. So you substitute your own language. Sort of. You make up words, combine words together, throw out words all together. If you can convey the sound or the meaning of whatever you're trying to say to the person you're talking to, then no one cares if you made up a word. (Well, teachers do. I don't recommend writing that the Orcs squirbled away from the Eorlingals in a book report. It just doesn't sound right, okay?) Who knows? Your word may actually catch on and eventually get added to the dictionary. It happens.


Yeah. I'll just...go.