By Alan Graner
As we speak, dark creatures of the night—lexicologists—are scouring printed and spoken material seeking words that are rarely, if ever, used. Their goal: kicking these rarely used words out of the English language.
Why? Because (they whine) there isn’t enough space in their dictionaries! They must make room for newer and shinier words.
At this point you are probably thinking, “So?”
Well me Bucko, do you want to watch polar bears become extinct? Bald eagles? Pac Man? Sears?
Are words any less worthy of life?
The niddering Concise Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Nina Rastogi, writing in Slate.com, reports the Concise OED must eliminate 200 old words to make room for 400 new ones. A malison upon their heads!
Some of the words being tossed on the lexicology ash heap are:
|Brabble||paltry noisy quarrel|
|Cassette player||(There seems to be some controversy as to whether it’s really excised)|
|Glocalizations||conducting business according to both local and global considerations|
|Threequel||third film, book, etc. in a series.|
|Video jockey (VJ)||person who plays music videos on TV|
|S-VHS||super VHS video tape|
|Millennium bug||defect in old computer software that would supposedly transform all the world’s computers to mush on Jan. 1, 2000|
And what are their replacements? Such neoteric upstarts as:
I mean, really!. These words are “so important,” they’re not even listed in my Spell Check. Vilipendous!
The olid Collins English Dictionary
To make room for 2,000 new entries, the word-devils at Collins are also putting some older words out to pasture.
After much sleuthing, warrior-scribe Alan Baxter managed to find a list of words Collins has placed on the endangered list. They include:
|Abstergent||cleansing or scouring|
|Agrestic||rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth|
|Apodeictic||unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration|
|Compossible||possible in coexistence with something else|
|Embrangle||to confuse or entangle|
|Exuviate||to shed (a skin or similar outer covering)|
|Fubsy||short and stout; squat|
|Griseous||streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey|
|Mansuetude||gentleness or mildness|
|Muliebrity||the condition of being a woman|
|Oppugnant||combative, antagonistic or contrary|
|Periapt||a charm or amulet|
|Recrement||waste matter; refuse; dross|
|Roborant||tending to fortify or increase strength|
|Skirr||a whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight|
|Vaticinate||to foretell; prophesy|
|Vilipend||to treat or regard with contempt|
The time to act is now, people!
Take these nitid words to heart. Embrace them. Use them. Find ways to slip them into your blogs and articles and websites and blistering letters to the editor.
Otherwise caliginosity will descend upon the world.
If you know of other endangered words, please, alert your fellow readers now.
Image: Giovanni Dall’Orto
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. If your company, products and/or services are in danger of being ignored, email Jeffrey Swartz ASAP at email@example.com.