9 Nov 2010

Don't be a foppotee, adopt a word now!

Have you ever given birth to a new word? Or considered adopting an old one?

All languages evolve, which is a good thing. Unfortunately that also means that older words that are perhaps no longer relevant fade away and die. It makes perfect sense, and yet it's a shame. Those old words are often rich in connotation. They talk to us about times long gone and places we've never visited.

Oxford Fajar, a subsidiary of Oxford University Press and one of the oldest publishing houses in Malaysia, has started a campaign to 'save the words'. Their website - even though a bit too busy for my taste - is full of words that are literally screaming to be rescued from the dreary pits of oblivion.

Every single word in their collection represents a story, a setting, an era, a character or any inspiration you could possibly need. On top of that, knowing some of these words has to come in handy one day, be it to characterise a person in a novel or story or as a random interjection into casual conversation. And I haven't even touched on the insult potential! Your cocktail parties will never be the same again.
Here are a few suggestions:
  • 'odynometer': an instrument for measuring pain. As in: 'I had to stop talking to him because my odynometer overloaded.'
  • 'frutescent': having the habit or appearance of a shrub. For example: 'You, Sir, are without any doubt the most frutescent person at this party.'
  • 'tortiloquy': dishonest or immoral speech. E.g. : 'I applaud the crafty tortiloquy in your inauguration address.'

Okay, your turn now:
  • 'foppotee': a simple-minded person.
  • 'aquabib': a water-drinker.
  • 'theomeny': the fury of God.
  • 'recineration': the second time a thing or place is burnt down.
  • 'agonyclite': a member of a heretical sect that stood rather than kneeled. (I'm not kidding...)
  • 'rhodologist': a person who studies and classifies roses.
  • 'stiricide': the falling of icicles from a house.
  • 'dodrantal': being 9 inches in length.

Don't miss this opportunity. Adopt your word today and help it to a new and meaningful life.

What do you think mine is, by the way? The first one to guess right will get a star role in one of my next posts.
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  1. I'll be browsing that website until my eyes hurt! ... wait...

    But I do like the idea! Of the ones you mentioned, my favorite is foppotee (and I will make an effort to actually use it now I know it exists!) so I will vote for that one being yours too!

  2. By gosh, I saw my friend get knocked out by stiricide last night.

    or.. when your stranded in a desert and you use aquabib for an offence.
    You wont last for ever alone!!! KEEP WALKING.. I dont care...YOU, you.. AQUABIB!

  3. I think you went for: buffoonery!

  4. @Lieve how did you guess... :-)
    (I knew I shouldn't have mentioned it on FB)
    Well, the star role is yours! :-)

    (if you want to write an article of your own about a topic you care about, you can be guest blogger!)
    Either way, I'll think up something! :-)

  5. You know... the funny thing is that I even didn't read that on facebook... (for some reason, I've missed that post). So, it was a real guess. I thought about this word, because the word 'buffoonery' was one of the labels of this blog message. And I thought this couldn't be just coincidence.
    Only now you've written in your comment something about a post on facebook, I've checked it, and I see that you've posted your adopted word there. Well anyway... I really wonder what my star role will be! ;-)

  6. Great :-) I wonder as well, but only time will tell ;-)


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