Ling 131: Language & Style
Topic 2 (session A) - Being creative with words and phrases > New words for old
|(Semi) Automatic poetry|
|Introducing word classes|
|More on word classes|
|Manipulating word classes|
|Changing word class - affixation|
|Changing word class - functional conversion|
|New words for old|
|Word class problems|
|Word class checklist|
New words for old
So far in this session we have examined how words can be shifted from one word class to another for specific effects. In a way, turning a verb like 'achieve' into a noun, as happens in 'The Windhover' by Gerard Manley Hopkins, creates a new word, the noun 'achieve'. But there are lots of other ways of creating new words, or neologisms, as they are known more technically.
Below is a poem written by someone while doing this course as a student, Eric Dixon. Take each of the highlighted words in turn and work out (a) how the neologism is created and (b) what effect(s) you think Dixon is trying to create with the new word. Then, after you have given your reasons, click on the highlighted word to compare your analysis with ours.
Ways to make new words
So far in this session we have seen the following ways of making new words:
But these are only some of the myriad ways in which people invent new words. Here are some more:
Invent your own words here!
Why not have a go at inventing your own word and
giving it a humorous definition?
To get you going, here are a couple borrowed from page 34 of David Crystal's Language Play:
Elaversion: Avoiding eye contact with other people in an elevator or lift.
Hicgap: The time that elapses between your hiccups going away and your noticing that they have.
Brian Walker's suggestions:
Loitery = a loitery of people. A group of people hanging around a National Lottery stand, usually on a double rollover week, deliberating over their chosen numbers, trying to remember the number of the month their cat was born on, obstructing your progress in or out of the shop or down a particular aisle within a shop.
Tapirary - The art of fashioning a living, fast-growing, naturally full, evergreen shrub into the shape of a South American mammal