Posts Tagged With: mental floss
I love words. I love etymologies and origins and how things got to mean what they mean today and how that has changed from what they meant yesterday or last week. Over at Mental Floss, they have this article, 7 Fake Words That Ended Up in the Dictionary, which now has me asking the obvious question: if a “fake word” ends up in the dictionary, does that not, by definition, make it a real word? And if so, can we bring these words into everyday parlance? If not, what’s to say that any word is “real?” Remember those lists of words we should “bring back?” Maybe those are fake, too?
Because sometimes periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, hyphens, apostrophes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces, and ellipses won’t do, here’s a list of Little-Known Punctuation Marks for National Punctuation Day thanks to Mental FlossMental Floss!
These are the kinds of words which make English such a fun language to play with. Interpretation is everything. This is also what makes communication difficult sometimes. I always tell my students that as long as I can understand what they are trying to say, then it doesn’t matter so much about the grammar and spelling… but then if they’re using words like these, I may have no idea what it is they’re trying to say. Continue reading
These are really interesting. I wonder how the relate, linguistically, with things like “Hamburger Meat” and “Tuna Fish” both of which have the addition of unnecessarily specifying to which group they belong.
It’s also an interesting conversation starter to think about which words are going to need Retronyms in the future. We already specify 3D vs 2D films, but I could see that becoming something we’d need to be even more specific about in the future. It might even become immersive vs. flat. What about books? Are we already moving into Retronym territory by having to specify print book instead of e-book?
In any case, I think it’s a fascinating look at the way we interact with the words around us.