A New Year… a New Word!
We participate daily with communication using language learned since our earliest childhood. From text messaging to rap songs; we all bear witness and participate in the simultaneous corrosion, implosion, erosion, and explosion of the English language. While attempting to express ourselves within the confines of our educational upbringing and the boundaries of English grammar; we all face the hidden language embedded within global communications.
With Elaine coining the phrase "yada, yada, yada" in Seinfeld; we grew to appreciate and interpret the phrase as the modernized interpretation of "etcetera". The term quickly became a means of skipping part a long winded story that was dull, repetitive and boring with a predictable ending not worth repeating. Essentially - it was your own thoughts and imagination that were left to fill in the blanks.
A creation of a new word or expression is called a neologism and can also be a brand-new meaning for an existing word that is in the process of entering common use but not fully adopted into mainstream language.
Onomatopoeia is the creation of a new word by imitation of the sound it is supposed to make. Plop, woof, shazam and barf all started out this way, with a tone and stylization familiar in comic book writing.
Repurposing is paralleling a word from one context and assimilating to another. An example of repurposing is the naming of the computer mouse as the physical similarities resembled that of the little tailed rodent.
Portmanteaus are new words that are compounded or spliced together that take on a bit of a slangy twist. Take one word, remove a portion of it, then put in its place either a whole word, or a similarly clipped one.
"Sexting and staycation" are millennial examples of words born by compounding words together to create a new expression with communication brevity in mind.
Dead heading needless words seemingly appears to be in the forecasted future of the English language. As words are being blended, spliced, diced and squished - into a whole new trendy slanguage or "Engsquish" is immerging. A few of the "au courant" words are presented in this listicle:
ADULTING - all responsible duties associated with being a bona fide adult: such as paying taxes, working through the summer and taking care of your car.
BINGE-WATCH - to watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession.
BOKEH - the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.
FLAWSOME – embraces awesomeness with inherent quirks, unique traits and scars of life.
GOAT - an abbreviation for the Greatest of All Times - with a dose of personal swagger.
KEEP IT 100 - stay true to yourself.
LISTICLE - an article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.
ON FLEEK - looking perfect.
PHOTOBOMB - to move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank.
SALTY - to be bitter, agitated or irate over a past event.
TRAIN WRECK - an utter disaster or mess: a disastrous calamity or source of trouble.
TRILL - what is true and real
VOCABULUXIOUS - the delicious enrichment of self invented words despite the fact they have not yet been officially adopted into the English or Scrabble dictionary.
WOAT - opposite to GOAT - Worst of All Times.
WOKE - being well informed and aware in politics and culture change. A keen awareness of racial or social discrimination, change and injustice.
YOWZA - used to express surprise or amazement.
In grade school, Pig Latin was an invented language spoken by anyone capable of mastering conjoining and twisting consonants with "ay" at the end of a word. Learning the rules were painful for many; while to others Pig Latin communications were disjointed, playful and fun. But most importantly it was an assembly of code words that created a secret language riddled with hidden meanings between friends.
Creativity and brevity will continue to be the impetus for new slang being woven into the tapestry of our daily vocabulary. With altered expressions and words being twanged, tweeted and twisted through the portholes of social media, we all have a role and social responsibility in maintaining, adopting and upholding our literary skills. Understanding millennial speak and being woke is the alluring message deeply embedded within the global crystal ball and spheres of communication.
Vocabuluxious is the hook for us all - self inventing a new word that is truly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!