As I gaze at my bibliophilic mass and scour through various references and guides, I’ve come upon a conundrum; a problem that supersedes the complexities of literary and moral universes; a quandary that has amazingly bypassed the slew of great minds that have slaved over hot pens, pencils and keyboards in the centuries before us.
How the hell did the people who composed the very first dictionary know they had it right the first time?!
That’s not a rhetorical question, dear readers! I need an answer! Our verbose lives depend on it!
Merriam-Webster acknowledges that “they”
has been used a singular pronoun consistently since the late 1300s. The organization also notes it has evidence of
the nonbinary “they” dating back to 1950, and that it’s likely there are
earlier uses of the nonbinary pronoun. Merriam-Webster’s
latest batch of updates includes 533 new words and meanings.
Aside from publishing the best stories anyone could read, every good writer hopes to make a positive impact on language, usually the language in which they write, by doing what comes naturally to us: creating new words. It’s not just a matter of adding words to the dictionary; it’s a matter of expanding the popular lexicon and encouraging others to think beyond what they learned in school.
Thus, The Chief is proud to announce that I have created 2 new words for the English language:
Complisult – a compliment that’s actually an
Example: “That’s a beautiful outfit you’re wearing. I had one just like it – YEARS ago!”
Insultiment – what sounds like an insult is
actually a compliment.
Example: “Gosh, you look like death microwaved over. I know you’re feeling better, though, so I’m happy for you.”
I’d love to hear everyone’s honest and constructively critical response! What do you folks think?
The item refers to a man named “Roger Fuckebythenavele,” and was discovered accidentally by Dr. Paul Booth, a historian at England’s Keele University. Booth was examining medieval court cases, when he stumbled upon the unfortunate moniker. Roger wasn’t actually born into a family called “Fuckebythenavele.” He was branded as such because he was an incompetent copulator. Usually that refers to most politicians, but Booth informed the local press, “Either it refers to an inexperienced copulator, referring to someone trying to have sex with the navel, or it’s a rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit, someone so stupid they think that this is the way to have sex.”
Apparently Roger was so bad at sex he was considered an outlaw and would be tried under judiciary circumstances. Before Booth’s discovery, the earliest documented example of “fuck” was in a 1475 poem titled “Flen fyys.” The line in question reads, ““fvccant vvivys of heli,” which can be translated to “they fuck the wives of Ely.”
Booth has contacted the Oxford English dictionary people to advise them of his discovery; whereupon they should then make the appropriate updates to the historical etymology of the “F” word. As of now, Booth hasn’t received a reply. In that case, just tell them to…have a nice day. Dagnabbit!
Just as the long Thanksgiving holiday comes to a close here in the U.S., I present this list 10 words to describe bodily functions. As a writer, I’m always perusing the dictionary and thesaurus for new terms. I used to go overboard, just for the sake of being unique and colorful. But, any creative writing instructor will advise the opposite – choose the simplest, most easily recognizable words for your story. Not everyone loves reaching for the dictionary like we do. But, I challenge my fellow writers to interject these linguistic mouthfuls into a sentence somewhere. Go ahead. It’ll be deliciously fun!
1. Borborygmus – rumbling: “What I thought was the rumbling of a truck was only a bout of borborygmus in my stomach.”
2. Emesis – vomiting: “I turned away in disgust from the vile rhetorical emesis of the racist orator.”
3. Eructation – belching: “The smokestacks engaged in endless eructation.”
4. Ingurgitation – guzzling: “We gazed in disbelief at the rampant ingurgitation occurring among the frat boys arrayed around the keg.”
5. Mastication – chewing: “The students, engrossed in the mental mastication required of the assignment, failed to notice my entrance.”
6. Micturation – urinating: “They’re micturating over all that we honor and respect.”
7. Osculation – kissing: “The odious osculation that takes place between politics and big business will never cease.”
8. Peristalsis – swallowing: “They accepted the lies with peristaltic enthusiasm — hook, line, and sinker.”
9. Sternutation – sneezing: “His incessant explosions of sternutation were unsettling.”
10. Tussis – coughing: “John produced gratuitous tussis to signal his extreme skepticism.”